One day after his birthday, let me wish my beloved David Bowie a very happy 67th birthday. Your album “The Next Day” was one of my favorites of 2013, and I can’t wait to see what you do in 2014 (read: please tour). So there’s that.

And let me also throw a little love at Welterweight, The Ghost of Paul Revere and Gunther Brown, who all have new releases I am listening to or soon will be. Are you a local act with stuff going on? New music? Big show? Other exciting updates? Please let me know.

This week I turn the microscope on a woman whose work is new to me and who is making her first appearance in Portland this weekend. Music was her first love, then she veered into acting, back into music, back into acting, and who knows where she’ll land next.

My fellow Mainers, please allow me to introduce you to Eszter Balint.

Balint is something of an enigma. She doesn’t have a Facebook page, and her website isn’t entirely up-to-date.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that I’m completely uncool because I’ve never seen the 1984 Jim Jarmusch film “Stranger Than Paradise” in which she played the role of Eva. I’ve also never seen Steve Buscemi’s “Trees Lounge,” which she’s also in. I did, however, see Woody Allen’s “Shadows and Fog,” but that was ages ago and I honestly can’t remember what role she played in that.


But here’s what I do know about Eszter Balint: She was born in Hungary, she plays violin and as a singer-songwriter she has released the albums “Flicker” and “Mud.”

I listened to a bunch of songs through her website and on YouTube and became a big fan within 15 minutes.

Unique voice and lyrics with interesting music win me over every time.

During the writing of this column I sent an email via requesting a photo and Eszter herself wrote back five minutes later with a terrific pic. So I fired right back and asked her to let me know what’s going on with her as of late. It essentially became an interview as the emails flew back and forth like a Wimbledon volley.

Balint started playing violin when she was 6 and played classically for about 10 years. She then went on what she refers to as a “violin strike” for, again, 10 years. Music, however, has always been part of her life and has been her priority for the past 15 years or so.

“It was somewhere between the closet and the back burner for a while there, my mid-teens to my mid-20s.”


As for acting, Balint says that as a kid she “fell into” acting but then reached a point where her pursuit of it ended and a devotion to songwriting began. But now Balint finds herself back in front of a camera, and although she considers the return to be temporary, she’s not ruling anything out, especially since the recent acting gig was so good.

“I have not acted in many years, so this was an interesting and unusual experience. I cannot talk about it other than to say I will be featured in a major role on a critically acclaimed – and I might add very cool – TV show, which I’m proud to have been invited to partake in.” Balint says it will air in late spring. Noted!

At present, Balint has enough material to record a new album and plans to hit the studio by summertime. She contines to perform with her longtime guitarist Chris Cochrane.

Expect to hear several unrecorded songs during her Portland show.

Eszter Balint. 8 p.m. Saturday. One Longfellow Square. 181 State St., Portland. $15 in advance; $20 day of show;

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: