For 18 years, the biggest and most famous Romani festival in the world, Khamoro, has offered the very best of Romani arts, culture and music. Since 1999, a total of 184 bands from 33 countries around the world have performed in concert at the festival.
There have been 35 exhibitions realized and 37 expert seminars held on hot topics, all involving the presence of renowed artists, recognized experts and top-notch musicians from around the world. This is just a fraction of what we have offered over the years. Everybody can find something of interest at the festival, and this year will be no different. From its birth to its maturity the festival has been accompanied by its organizers from Slovo 21, z. s. and Studio Production Saga, s. r. o. The auspices for this year’s festival have been given by Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman and Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor of the City of Prague. The main media partner of the festival is Czech Television.
“We are glad that the Khamoro Festival has become part of the broader public’s awareness. It has acquired popularity both inside the Czech Republic and abroad. The festival is attended annually by more than 9 000 supporters. Romani culture is as rich as any other, and through the Khamoro Festival we can present that culture and build a bridge that will lead to mutual helpfulness, tolerance and understanding,” explains Soňa Kalejová, press spokesperson for the festival. “The President of the Norwegian Parliament, Olemic Thommessen, and Norwegian Ambassador in the Czech Republic, Siri Ellen Sletner, have confirmed their participation and will attend the opening of the exhibition by the artist Emília Rigová of Slovakia at the Czech Center Prague on 30 May 2016.”
Khamoro opened on 29 May with a concert and party on the Náplavka in Prague, launched by Czech Culture Minister Herman and Mayor Krnáčová. Performances included the bands Le Čhavendar from Rokycany, Czech Republic, Maroš Bango of Slovakia performing with the cembalom (hammered dulcimer) music of Ladislav Rig’s Fantasy Orchestra, and DJ Shantel of Germany as the final event.
The music program will continue Monday with a concert of contemporary Romani music combining folk, Rom-pop, rock, Latin, hip-hop, funk and soul. At the La Fabrika club performances will include the Milan Kroka Live Band from the Czech Republic, Gipsy Casual of Romania, and Shantel + Bucovina Club Orkestar of Germany.
People can look forward to concerts of the favorite Gypsy Jazz genre on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first such concert, at the Jazz Dock, will feature the band Menil from Spain. The second performance in this genre takes place Wednesday at the Lucerna Music Bar with the jazz band The Rosenberg Trio of the Netherlands, some of the best Gypsy Jazz performers in the world.
Thursday and Friday will feature concerts of traditional Romani music. Over these two days, famous musicians from all over the world will share the Palác Akropolis stage – The Gypsy Ensemble Giani Lincan from the Netherlands, Tekameli of France, Zuralia Orchestra from Romania, Russka Roma of Russia, Kočani Orkestar from Macedonia, and Bengas (Czech Republic). These groups will also perform at Saturday’s closing gala concert at SaSaZu. “People can also see all of the bands together during Friday’s parade by performers, which starts at high noon on Wenceslas Square and ends on the Old Town Square. Approximately 300 performers, including 15 amateur and professional dance ensembles from all over the Czech Republic, will parade through the center of Prague. Thanks to the parade, you will be able to see the colorfulness and diversity of Romani culture and music,” says Džemil Silajdžić, Artistic Director and producer of the Khamoro Festival, about one of its most attractive events.
During the week Khamoro also offers many side events, including three exhibitions: The opening of an exhibition of wooden sculptures and toys by professional woodcarver Matěj Holub, entitled “…And Maybe He Will Come on a Goat” (“… A možná přijede na koze“) will be held at the Slovenský Dom with musical accompaniment by the Prague-based group Bench Band. The second exhibition of visual art, called “Archetype – Pre-Bari” (“Archetyp – Pra Bari”) presents the work of Emílie Rigová and can be seen at the Czech Center, where the Slovak performer Maroš Bango will also be part of the program. Rigová will also stage an outdoor performance piece on Na Příkopě Street on 1 June. You can also see the exhibition “Roma Resistance” on 3 June at the Goethe Institute.
You will certainly also be captivated by the artists who will draw 3D images with Romani themes on the sidewalks of Prague. Visitors can also look forward to the Khamororo Children’s Day, the colorful parade of performers through the center of Prague mentioned above, a screening of the film “Taikon”, and remembrances dedicated to leading figures from the history of Romani culture. We will remember the author Andrej Giňa and musician Milan Šenki Korytár. We will also pay our respects to the Romani Studies scholar Milena Hübschmannová - a staging of the play Čirikloro aneb co říká ptáček (“Chirikloro, or what the little bird says”) will be performed in honor of her memory by the ARA ART group. An expert seminar is also part of the festival where non-Romani and Romani experts from all over the world will discuss Romani civic activism.
Within the framework of the festival there will also be two week-long programs, “The Little Summer School of Romani Culture” and “Khamoro Shares Its Experience”. Children living in children’s homes will also participate in the program as part of the “Khamoro Kher” project.
Contact person for the media: Soňa Kalejová, press spokesperson