Top world acts of traditional Romani music, celebrated artists, recognized experts and many significant figures, both Non-Roma and Roma, will visit the biggest, most famous Romani festival in the world – KHAMORO – in Prague from 28 May – 3 June 2017. Auspices have been given to the festival by Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman and Mayor of Prague Adriana Krnáčová.
Visitors to the festival will be able to familiarize themselves with Romani arts and culture and much more! They will be able to attend an international conference about inclusive education. Another component of the festival are its side events such as a children’s day, a review of Romanes-language literature and Romani authors, a football tournament, and much more.
“KHAMORO has long been famous even beyond the borders of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It has become internationally recognized among experts and the general public. The festival is attended annually by as many as 9 000 people. This is a real honor, not just for Romani people, but for the Czech capital and for all of society. We believe this year’s festival will fulfill its mission of bringing together people of different cultures, ethnicities and religions,” explains Jelena Silajdzić, director of Slovo 21, z. s.
Some of the best-loved parts of the festival are the performers’ parade through the center of Prague, the “Khamororo” Children’s Day, and the concerts of Romani music. This year musicians will perform on Střelecký ostrov (Shooter’s Island), the Palác Akropolis music club, the Jazz Dock, the Jerusalem Synagogue, the SaSaZu club in Prague’s Holešovice quarter, and in other locations.
The festival starts on 28 May with an opening concert on Prague’s Střelecký ostrov (Shooter’s Island). At 19:00 this outdoor concert will feature the instantly recognizable voices of Jan Bendig and his guest performers Markéta Konvičková, Elis and Monika Bagárová. These starts of the contemporary music scene will please the audience with their Romani repertoire. They will be followed by DJ Gadjo.cz, who plays Romani music from all continents. The event is free of charge, just bring your good mood.
On Monday and Tuesday the festival offers concerts of “Gypsy jazz”. At Jazz Dock, visitors will see and mainly hear top performers of this world-famous genre, made immortal by the phenomenal guitarist Django Reinhardt. This time the stage will be in the hands of the Christiano Gitano Quartet from Germany and the Nitcho Reinhard Trio from France.
The Palác Akropolis club is offering concerts of traditional Romani music on Thursday and Friday, while on Saturday the closing gala concert will take place at the SaSaZu club in the Holešovice quarter. Music from all over the world will be heard. The Slovak Republic will be represented by the Viliam Didiaš cembalom band, while Spain is represented by the Fuego y Fragua ensemble, Hungary is represented by the Parno Graszt group, Serbia by the Siniša Stanković Orchestra, Macedonia by Esma´s Band, Russia by Greg Demeter´s Moscow Gypsies, and Romania by the world-famous Taraf De Haïdouks group.
Lovers of classical music can enjoy that genre as well. Friday’s concert of classical music inspired by Romani motifs will be performed at the Jerusalem Synagogue.
KHAMORO has never just been about music, as it might seem at first glance, but annually offers visitors a rich side program.
This year’s festival presents Romanes-language literature featuring artists from the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia in a series called “GAVORO”. The effort of this three-day event is to popularize Romani literature and initiate the creation of separate sections for Romanes-language literature and literature on Romani subject matter at libraries. The series is being implemented in collaboration with the National Library, the Prague City Library and the Václav Havel Library.
Those attending KHAMORO this year will be able to visit three exhibitions as well. The Lucerna Café will be spiced up with Monday’s exhibition by photographer Rishabh Kaul, called “Backstage Diaries”. Then, an absolutely unique exhibition of all kinds of art genres called “Akathe te beshen” (“Here To Stay”) will introduce the curatorial activity of Moritz Pankok from Berlin’s Kai Dikhas Gallery, which features Romani artists, 15 of whom will show in the spaces of the Czech Center in Prague, where visitors will have the opportunity to see the absolutely different lives of Gitanos, Roma, Sinti and Travellers. The final exhibition will take place at the Jerusalem Syngagogue, where the American photographer Mark Wiedorn will present his collection of photographs taken at KHAMORO over the years, called “Roma Soul”.
The festival will also feature two theater performances. In production together with ARA ART, the Romani musical fairy tale “Čirikloro, aneb co říká ptáček” (“Čirikloro, or What Does the Birdie Say?”) based on motifs from texts collected by Milena Hübschmannová, as well as a theater production of “Kamav aver muršes” (“I Want Another Man”) performed by an amateur senior citizens’ ensemble from Bánská Bystrica, Slovakia.
Visitors can also look forward to the much-loved children’s day, full of amusements, dance and music performances, games and workshops. The multicolored parade through the center of the city accompanied by concerts of traditional Romani music and by dance ensembles from all over the Czech Republic will also be part of the festival.
As part of KHAMORO the RomArchive project will be presented, which has been created with the intention of undertaking the systematic archiving of Romani art forms (fine arts, literature, music, photography, etc.) and history. “An institution dedicated to archiving Romani culture at a pan-European level is about to be created, and for that reason institutions and organizations involved in archiving who work in the area of culture in the Czech Republic will be contacted during this year’s KHAMORO,” explains the festival’s press spokesperson, Soňa Kalejová.
Another innovation to the festival this year is its football tournament, entitled “Džas bavinas fotbal” (“Let’s Play Football”), which will feature six children’s teams, six men’s teams and two womens’ teams. The tournament will be held at the Pražačka Sports and Recreation Area.
The KHAMORO festival also features an expert segment. This year there will be a two-day international conference on “Quality Education For All”, dedicated to the much-discussed topic of inclusive education. The conference will feature leading experts from abroad and from the Czech Republic and will be open to educators, parents, students of pedagogical faculties and all who are most affected by this subject. Auspices for the conference have been granted by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and by EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová.
There will also be events that are closed to the public ongoing over the course of several days. For dozens of young Romani people there will be an international, week-long training in cultural management which is focused in acquiring the capabilities, inspiration, knowledge and skills needed to produce cultural events at a professional level. There will also be the international Small Summer School of Jewish and Romani Music in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Prague, as well as “KHAMORO Kher”, a three-day program for children residing in children’s homes.
The press conference launching the KHAMORO festival will happen on Monday, 29 May 2017 at 14:00 at the Radniční Club of the Staroměstská radnice (Old Town Hall). Press accreditations will be prepared for pickup there. To receive press accreditation please complete the online form at www.khamoro.cz The accreditation will facilitate entry free of charge to all events with the exception of the jazz concerts.
Media contact person:
Soňa Kalejová, press spokesperson
GSM: +420 601 151 171