STOCHELO ROSENBERG / THE NETHERLANDS
The stellar gypsy-jazz guitarist who plays in the manouche jazz style of Django Reinhardt. He is also the solo guitarist of The Rosenberg Trio, consistingof him and his cousins Nous'che and Nonnie. Stochelo started playing the guitar when he was 10 years old, but his play improved incredibly fast. He liked to play Django's solos time and again, helped by his uncle and father. Thanks to his exceptional talent, he had many opportunities to conclude a contract with record companies. But his parents wanted to protect him from the world of the show business. He then played with his cousins, laying the foundations of the famous trio. He is often referred to as one of the best gypsy-jazz guitarists, but he personally does not like such statements. "Forget Stochela and everyone else..." he says ... "If you want to learn and understand gypsy jazz, start with Django, the best guitar player who ever lived." Stochelo won the 1992 Golden Guitar award from the Guitarist Magazine. He worked together with many musicians and orchestras - live and in studio - for instance Biréli Lagrène with Romane.
Angelo Debarre / FRANCE
One of the most respected gypsy jazz guitar players in the world is a guarantee of a show. The Manouche guitarist started playing at the age of eight already. Even though he spent several years playing percussion instruments, he finally returned to the guitar, which became his destiny instrument. Since 1985 he has regularly started to perform in the Paris Club La Roue Fleurie, where all the major Gypsy jazz musicians have gone through. Today he is one of the most respected guitarists in the style of gypsy swing. In the Romany community, where Angelo grew up, music always played a very important role. Gypsy-jazz musical tradition, started by Django Reinhardt, is the heart of this culture, and Angelo soon became one of its jazz masters. In 1984 he founded his first band The Angelo Debarre Quintet and in the following year he began to travel around the world and play with various Romany musicians. The editor of the journal French Guitar Fred Loizeau said about him: "His technique is phenomenal and very distinctive. What you notice immediately is how much he uses the little finger of his left hand - most guitar players do not use this finger at all. ... He loves improvisation! ... He always surprises you with something new, always risking, but never making a mistake. "
Tchavolo Schmitt / FRANCE
The unique guitarist can entertain the audience for hours and always fill it with love and unmistakable energy. Tchavolo, who comes from the Belleville district of Paris, began playing at the age of six. Later he moved with his parents to Alsace, but his virtuosity soon began to spread itself beyond the Alsatian and French frontier. In 1979 he joined the band "Hot Club da Sinti", which consisted of the guitarist Schmeling Lehmann, the violinist Wedeli Kohler and the bass guitarist Jani Lehmann. The first solo album had the title "So? …Well, well". He also played in the film "Swing". In 1992, Tchavolo Schmitt participated in the film project "Latcho Drom", which tracks the history of the musical exodus of the Roma. The musical technique of Tchavolo Schmitt is perfect, recognizable by its emphasis and phrasing. Thanks to his excellent right hand, his play has a strong sound in a steady rhythm. But he is also a master of delicate and sensitive touch, capable of light transitions through a wide variety of sound colours. At the concerts, fans say, there is besides music also kindness and inextinguishable joy of the play. Many fans of gypsy jazz consider Tchavolo Schmitt to be the successor of the famous musician Django Reinhardt.
Ludovic Beier / FRANCE
He has learned the accordion from his father and has earned fame as a great jazzman in his youth already. Being 24 years old he already played with such jazz musicians like Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Martin Taylor, Stochelo Rosenberg and others. In 2006 he has performed with Toots Thielemans, Herbie Hancock and Ivan Lins in New York Carnegie Hall. He is a frequent guest of various famous music festivals among others in the Kennedy Center in Washington, San Francisco or in Olympia in Paris. With his unique technique and excellent improvisation he created a new style of the accordion play. He also devotes himself to television and film projects, including discovering new jazz talents. Since 2002, he has released more than fifteen albums in the US and Europe. More at https://www.ludovicbeier.com/
MAHALA RAI BANDA / ROMANIA
The Romanian villages Clejani and Zeci Prajine are hatcheries of the best Romany musicians. After all, the legendary groups Taraf de Haidouks and Fanfare Ciocarlia come from here. And the band Mahala Rai Banda is even composed of the musicians from both places. Its musical style is often referred to as "Romany music of the 21st century". It offers a combination of traditional Romany music, Balkan brass, soul, and Turkish and Arabic music - all coupled with a bit of reggae and dance music. Their début album from 2005 moved them from performances on weddings to recognized festivals in Canada and Great Britain. They first tried a world tour alongside the famous Gypsy Queens & Kings. Today they belong to the most popular Romany bands in Europe and the United States. The next album, Ghetto Blasters, was recorded in 2009 and became a worldwide sensation. It was allocated among the top 10 "Best Albums of the Year" in the British hit parade announced by the Songlines magazine, and got many other awards in various European countries. Get ready for a young and energetic gypsy funk!
KOCANI ORKESTAR / MACEDONIA
Balkan rhythms with typical wind instrument arrangements represent the Kočani Orkestar. The band, founded by the trumpeter Naat Valiov, is one of the most original Balkan brass bands, so it's no wonder it plays all over the world. The Romany ensemble, much inspired by Turkish influences, has also opened the world music as one of the first. In its repertoire, it included songs influenced by the Latin American music, especially samba, as well as elements of flamenco and ballad. In addition to the classical brass repertoire, we can also hear funky, latin or jazz. Its temperament and strength of music is said to make every listener dance. The band became famous due to the film of Emir Kusturica Dom za vesanje (in English: Time of the Gypsies).Their songs also became known to the world audience through a soundtrack to the film Borat, and also by the cover versions of their songs by an indie rock singer named Beirut, with whom Kocani Orkestar eventually played at a concert in Paris.
MILAN KROKA LIVE BAND / CZECH REPUBLIC
Milan Kroka is one of the most popular Roma musicians today: he is an excellent singer, guitarist and keyboard player. His musical style combines traditional Romany folk, pop, latin, world music and rumba. Following a solo career and engaged in many bands in 2012, he has set up a musical project called Milan Kroka - Live band where he works with his cousins Zdeněk Kurej (bass), Milan Kurej (drums), his childhood friend and colleague David Grundza (guitar), friend and colleague Roman Kryštof (percussion). In 2016, a three-member brass group consisting of highly acclaimed jazz musicians completes the band: Miroslav Hloucal (trumpet), J.J. - Jan Jirucha (trombone), David Farek (saxophone). Since then, they have successfully performed at a number of concerts in the Czech Republic, for example: Jazz Dock Prague, Khamoro World Festival, Ara Fest, Django fest Brno, Sheep Hall Melbortice, International Festival - Komedianti v ulicích v Táboře (Comedians in the Streets of Tábor), Prague Pride and others.
More at https://www.kroka-liveband.cz/
Etnorom Band & Friends / HUNGARY
The Etnorom Band was founded in 2005 by József Balog and Agnes Künstler, former soloists of the world-renowned band Hungarian Kalyi Jag. Their repertoire has its roots in Romany traditional music, but is also influenced by contemporary styles. So, EtnoRom created the category "Gypsy World Music".The texts of their songs are in Hungarian and Romani, but thanks to the music they are comprehensible to the audience in any country. The band won twice the Best Performance at the Budapest Fringe Festival. It also performed at prestigious national and international festivals such as the Budapest Spring Festival, the Sziget Festival, the Zaragoza - Expo, or the Gannat 43 EME Festival Les Cultures du Monde in France. The band also played in the United States or at the Nomadic Festival in Morocco. In December 2017, a unique performance of hundreds of artists with a symphonic orchestra and choir was performed. In Prague they will perform together with the singer and mandolinist Guszta Balog, the guitarist and singer Istvan Horváth, the dancer and guitarist Zoltán Horváth and Ibolya Horváthová, singer and founder of the group Kanizsa Csillagai.
More at youtube
Alba Heredia Flamenco Company / SPAIN
This dancer from Granada performed since childhood in the famous dance halls in the caves of Cuevas del Sacromonte, where she acquired a brilliant technique and a unique dance expression typical of the Romany flamenco. She belongs to one of the best known Los Mayos dynasties. She soon became involved in famous ensembles such as Curro Albaicin or Juan Andrés Maya. She debuted in prestigious Madrid tablaos when she was only eleven years old. Gradually she gained international reputation and performs regularly in France, Italy or Japan. In 2015 she won the first prize at the XXII. Flamenco Dance Contest "El Desplante" in Granada. The dance of Alba Heredi is an emotional experience that you surely should not miss.
More at http://albaheredia.com/
Ciganos d´Ouro / PORTUGAL
The "Golden Gypsies" originated in 1994 at the initiative of the brothers José Pat and Sérgia Silva. Two years later, they made their début with the album "La Casa". They began to perform together with the excellent pianist Francisco Montoya. The band also played at festivals in Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, China or Macao. The DNA of the band is definitely Flamenco and Cante Hondo. The result of this amalgamation are seven original albums and a compilation of "Best Of". The "Golden Gypsies" draw from many sources and musical languages such as Fado, Tango, Morna, Jazz and Balkan music. The result is an explosive combination of original and appealing sound. The basic trio consists of José Pata (singer and guitar), Sérgio Silva (voice and guitar) and Francisco Montoya (guitar player). They are accompanied by the great musicians Paulo Croft (guitar), Gustavo Roriz (contrabas), Victor Zamora (piano) and Sebastian Sheriff (drums).
More at youtube
Gitana / SLOVAKIA
Adriana Drafi alias Gitana started her solo career at the end of 2013 and the music critics called her Slovak Byonce. Gitana sings in seven languages and actively speaks four languages. Still, she loves most the Romany songs in which she founds deep emotions, the greatness of soul and personality. You cannot learn to feel Romani music, you must have the feeling in you, she says. Her hit Nádherná (Beautiful) celebrated a great success. She sang it later as a duo with Jan Bendig. Recently, she began to address herself more to the new style, Electro Swing and Gypsy Swing, and in the summer of 2017 she released the solo album Kolorit. She also lectured workshops for children in singing and dancing, during which she discovered, for example, a new talented singer, a Romany girl who sang with her in the Roma Spirit TV program.
More at youtube
During more than a decade of their existence, the band Gipsy.cz has become one of the most famous Czech music groups of the world. They have already stood on prestigious festival stages and in clubs of more than thirty countries around the world. The band is headed by the Romany rapper, musician and singer Radoslav "Gipsy" Banga. Gipsy.cz has greatly helped to mutual understanding and improvement of communication between the minorities and the majority society. They are the first Czech band to perform at GLASTONBURY, the biggest festival in the world. Gipsy.cz excels with its energetic concert performance, exaggeration and humour, but also with a deeper insight into social topics. The projects of Gipsy.cz are always based on cooperation between musicians from different genres and cultures. Radoslav Banga also began working together with many foreign artists, including Gogol Bordello, Boban Marković, or DeLaDap. Radek is able to overwhelm the space with his energy, so he can take the audience of any age to storm.
More at http://www.gipsy.cz/
The group is named after the play of the same name directed by Nikolai Lekarev. The whole ensemble "Horse-shoe of Happiness" are members of Moscow's Romen Theater. Their songs, ballads, impressive dances and singing can hardly be confused with any other ensemble in the world. They try to build on true Romany traditions. The performance is based on colourful suits, expressive voices and melodic performances of music and songs. They try to present the best Romany cultural traditions and identity!
More at http://www.teatr-romen.ru/