The Romany singer Ida Kelarová and her Chavorenge Children’s Choir together with musicians from the Czech Philharmonic will perform a concert at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Croydon, southern England on Thursday evening. The program will feature the international Romany anthem Gelem, Gelem, and the choir’s best known song Hey Romale!
The Roma singing star Ida Kelarová will perform a concert with Romani
children from the Čhavorenge Children’s Choir accompanied by musicians
from the Czech Philarmonic at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Croydon, southern
England on Thursday evening.
The programme will feature the international Romani anthem Gelem, Gelem, which the ensemble sang on October 8 at Prague’s Rudolfinum concert hall at a special concert marking International Romani Day.
The prestigious EFFE Award for remarkable arts festivals has been awarded
to both the Prague Spring International Music Festival and the World Roma
Festival known as Khamoro. The award, which is also held by prestigious
festivals such as the BBC Proms, will be handed to their representatives at
a special ceremony at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels on Thursday.
Both festivals also received the EFFE Label, the organisation’s quality stamp for remarkable arts festivals showing their engagement in the field of the arts, community involvement and international openness. EFFE stands for Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe. It is issued by the European Festivals Association, which connects about 100 festivals and festival associations in 40 countries.
Ida Kelarová is a singer, musician and choirmaster who performs some of the best Romany music to come out of the Czech Republic. Paradoxically it was years before she discovered her Romany roots and drew inspiration from Roma culture and music. Today this legacy has become an important part of her life and she works hard to help talented Romany children living in excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
A procession by Roma musicians, singers and dancers from all over the world
will pass through the centre of Prague on Friday as part of the annual
Khamoro festival. The parade will start at the lower part of Wenceslas
Square at midday on Friday and head to the Old Town Square.
The 21st edition of the week-long festival of Romany culture got underway last Sunday, offering various concerts, workshops and seminars. It will culminate on Saturday with a gala concert at the Prague club SaSaZu on Saturday.
Khamoro, the World Roma Festival of music and culture, kicks off on Sunday
evening with a free concert by the band Gipsy Suno in Prague’s Karlín
The annual week-long event is now celebrating its 21st year. Apart from a wide variety of traditional and modern Romany music, the programme features exhibitions, theatrical performances, a fashion show and public discussions.
Khamoro, which means sun in the Roma language, is the largest such festival in the world. It peaks on Saturday with a gala concert featuring Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), 3000 DeSCencias (Spain), Ivan Herák (Czechia), and Romengo (Hungary), among others.
Věra Bílá died of a heart attack this week, days before her scheduled comeback tour. The Roma singer, who was widely regarded as a great talent and once sang to sold out audiences across the world, spent the last years of her life heavily in debt and living in a lodging house. Since her death, many have said that her songs will forever live on as exceptional examples of the world music genre.
The Czech Republic’s most famous Romany singer Věra Bílá has died at
the age of 64, the news site Romea.cz reported. The singer reportedly died
in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
Bílá gained international acclaim performing Romany folk songs with the group Kale. They released their first album in 1996 and in later years performed live at venues around Europe and the United States.
Věra and Kale split up in 2005 on account of Bílá’s problems with gambling. Only this week she was planning to make a big comeback with Jan Bendig and Milan Krok, one of the singers from Kale.