Kálmán Balogh was born in Miskolc, north-eastern Hungary. He started to play the cimbalom (dulcimer) at the age of eleven. He then studied classical music in Budapest. Playing with the “Avas” folk-dance ensemble in Miskolc, he was introduced to authentic folk music. He stayed mainly with folk music but he has also gained success and recognition playing in jazz and ragtime bands. In 1980 he graduated as a teacher of the cimbalom from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.