Concerts of traditional Roma music continue also today!

The popular concerts of traditional Roma music in ROXY are still running

Today again you have a lot to look forward to. Věra Bílá with the Czech band Kale, the Roma group Ilo from Russia and the wonderful Mahala Rai Banda from Romania will all be performing!


Věra Bílá is considered to be one of the most successful Roma singers of all-time both by musicians and by music experts. During her career she was even proclaimed by media to be the Roma queen or Ella Fitzgerald of Roma music. Věra Bílá and the members of the Kale Band hail from Rokycany, a small town in western Bohemia. As is the case with many Roma bands, the members of this band also are tied together by family bonds and they can hardly remember any more when was it that they began concerting together. Their first album called Rom-Pop, which came to light in 1995, reaped an unprecedented success. The response to their second, golden album called Kale Kalore, issued in 1998, opened the way for the Kale Band onto a path toward launching an international concert career. Eventually, their phenomenal success resulted in a recording contract with BMG. In joint performances the Kale Band appeared in the most prestigious concert halls and clubs of Europe and North America alike. Taken over the entire period of their existence, people in more than 25 countries have attended their performances.


The villages of Clejani and Zeci Prajine in Romania are the seedbed giving birth to the very best Romani musicians. Well, it’s been the home even of the legendary bands Taraf de Haidouks and Fanfare Ciocarlia. And the Mahala Rai Banda – this is a band on which musicians from both these birthplaces are represented indeed. Their musical style often is termed the “Roma music of the 21st century“. It offers permeations of the traditional Roma music, the Balkans brass music, soul, Turkish and Arabic music – all that mixed with a pinch of reggae or dance music. It was only in 2004 that the Mahala Rai Banda have gone public with their first record. Even then already, in their native Romania, they however have become a firmly established band – and were very much sought after at a variety of wedding and other sundry celebrations. Their music penetrated westwards together with the Roma migrants from Romania, and today they rank among the most popular Roma bands both in Europe and in the United States. Their next album, entitled Ghetto Blasters, recorded in 2009, became a world sensation. It came to rank among the first 10 Best Albums of the Year of the British hit parade promulgated by Songlines Music Magazine, and managed to win numerous awards in other European countries as well.


Can there be anyone who would not be acquainted with the movie The Gypsy Camp Ascends to Heaven? It was precisely this movie which brought substantial fame to the Ilo Band members. But they also took part in other movies, such as, for example, Dark Eyes, The Mysterious Successor, or Aza the Gypsy Woman. The musical tradition of the Ilo Band reaches back to the 18th century, following the glorious dynasty of Siberian Roma, the Vasilyevs and Buzylyovyches. Currently it represents one of Russia’s eminent Romani bands, one that certainly makes a contribution to the blossoming of Romani culture in general and to the revival of forgotten popular Roma songs. Some of these even came to appear on a disk from the Golden Fund series and ranked abreast of such famous artists as, for instance, Varya Panina, Lala Chyornaya, or Nikolay Slichenko. With their distinctive soloist, Nataliya Buzylyovova, the Ilo Band members were able to attract the sympathies of the audiences not only in Russia but also in France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Norway, as well as in Viet Nam.