The largest and the best known Roma festival in the world is soon coming to Prague and to Pilsen. In Prague, Khamoro will take place from May 24 to May 30; in Pilsen, this year the European Capital of Culture, between May 26 and May 28. As in previous year, also Khamoro 2015 is bringing vast array of cultural events, including concerts, exhibitions, expert seminars and programme for children and seniors.
KHAMORO IN PRAGUE
Party at Vltava river will launch the festival
The cultural marathon starts on Sunday, May 25, 8 pm with a grand open-air party at Prague river bank “Náplavka”, and will be running for the following eight days. The audience at Náplavka will be cheered up by the well-known band Terne Chave, and by the blind singer Mario Bihari performing together with Vladimir 518, a doyen of Czech rap scene. A combination of traditional Romani music and hip hop – that is something we are really looking forward to! There is no entrance fee to the party, so all you need to bring along is your good mood.
The popular concerts of gypsy jazz will not be missing
Since the Khamoro festival aims to present variety of Romani culture, besides traditional Romani music it also introduces the popular gypsy jazz. On Monday, the Israeli band Swing de Gitanes will perform in the beautiful JazzDock. This band’s leader, an Israeli Roma, established it in 2007 in order to introduce the enchanting gypsy jazz to Israeli audience. On Tuesday, we continue at the same note! The superb guitarist Angelo Debarre from France will perform in Lucerna Music Bar. This jazz musician was raised in the Roma community where music played a central role. In his music, he was influenced mainly by Django Reinhardt, the very founder of gypsy jazz.
Classical music versus hiphop
Black-and-White World – that is the name of another concert of the Khamoro festival that will certainly please not only classical music lovers. This show by a nine-member orchestra lead by a renowned Roma composer Goran Tarjovich from Serbia can be enjoyed at the church of St. Nicolas on May 27. The same concert will introduce also the Bartosh siblings – a Pilsen opera duo, and Pavlina Matiova, an opera singer from Prague. They will perform classical pieces but also their own songs emphasising their Roma identity.
On the same day, the Serbian hip-hop band Roma Siyam will get the party started in Lucerna Music Bar. Their music based on Romani language and traditional culture is now taking over the world! The audience will at the same occasion hear the Czech hiphop legend Vladimir 518, who will share the stage with the rapper Mike Trafik and the rappers Refew, Funky Brothers, the hiphop band UGC and the youngest Prague hiphop crew Cincinaty.
Traditional Roma music
The concerts of traditional Roma music played by professional bands from around the world are each year among the favourite festival events. On May 28, Tamburashi from Serbia and the Bulgarian band Romaneno with a colourful mix of Roma music with jazz, funky and flamenco will perform at the stage of the Prague Roxy club. They will be joined by the Slovenian band Shukar that was applauded at Khamoro 2010 for their traditional Roma and folklore songs. Roma from Spain are not to be missed, this time represented in music, dance and singing by Flamenco Aire Quintero.
In Roxy, the concerts of traditional Roma music will continue also on Friday, May 29. Traditional Roma dances and songs will be performed by Ilo from Russia, world-wide famous thanks to the movie Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven. After some time off, Vera Bila and Kale (the Czech Republic) will be also performing at Khamoro 2015.
The audience will have the opportunity to hear all the performers of traditional Roma music at the closing gala concert at the SaSaZu music club on May 30, 8 pm, the final event of Khamoro 2015 in Prague.
Khamoro will offer a wide range of side events. The exhibition „Vanished world of Roma“” will be opened on May 26 at Czech Centre Prague. Old Roma will be narrating their life stories on Wednesday, May 27, at 4 pm at the Town Hall of Prague 4, and on May 28, 4 pm, at the Town Hall of Prague 5. These captivating stories gained many fans in the previous years. We will also remember the versatile musician Josef Fečo on May 25, 7 pm in Rock Café.
Among side events are also guitar, voice and dance workshops for public, and expert round tables. On Friday, May 29 from 9 am, the Hungarian institute will host a two-day international seminar “„Roma culture in social context“” that is bringing array of experts from Czech Republic and abroad.
Each year, the cherry on the cake is the parade of festival performers through the Prague city centre that will warm the heart of every bystander by its vividness and colourfulness. The procession starts from Wenceslas Square at 12 am on May 29. On the same day, children will have a blast too! The children’s day Khamororo takes place on May 29 from 3 pm and will offer children companies’ performances, creative workshops, jumping castle and many other fun activities.
KHAMORO IN PILSEN
…will be also great! Both on May 26 and 27, lectures on the history of Roma and on Romani language will start at 9 am in Pilsen schools. On Tuesday 26, a community programme starts at 2 pm at the “U Branky” venue. You can be looking forward to DJ It, an art workshop (MilKa), lessons of traditional Roma dance, street dance performances, a presentation of last year’s winners of the Street Battle Jam competition, a course of jewellery-making, and stories of old Roma “„About the Past and the Present in a Different Way”.
Gypsy jazz will be played at Buena Vista Club from 9 pm, performed by the French jazz guitarist Angelo Debarre and Marius Apostol – Gipsy Unity, just after their Prague shows. On Thursday May 28 from 1 pm, you can taste the “Mandala cake” at Republic Square. This live installation is delicious and “all you can eat”!
The evening gala concert at 7 pm on the same day will bring the traditional Roma melodies by Vera Bila and Kale (Czech Republic), Ilo (Russia) and Mahala Rai Banda (Romania) to the Republic Square. Enjoy!