Few musicians in the Czech Republic have anything like the charisma of Ida Kelarova. Half Czech, half Romany, she has thrown herself into the world of Romany music, and with her strong, deeply resonant voice and immense energy, she captivates audiences at concerts she gives both in the Czech Republic and abroad. As children, Ida, and her sister Iva, who is also a well-known musician, were surrounded by music, brought up from their earliest childhood to sing and play, but nobody in the family ever talked about their Romany roots or the ancient Romany
This Sunday, October 24th, the 28th Prague International Jazz Festival will kick off in the Czech capital at the city's famous Reduta club. This year's festival, also taking place at Lucerna Palace, will see performances by world-class performers: we spoke with Ivo Letov, the artistic director at Pragoconcert, to ask about this year's line up.
Internationally recognized musicians, community leaders, teachers and politicians. This is the image of the Roma minority that a European Commission-funded program is bringing to children in the Pilsen region. The Roma are one of the largest minorities in the Czech Republic, and in many people's minds they are associated with negative Gypsy stereotypes of poverty and petty crime. The target audience: Roma pupils and their non-Roma classmates in elementary and technical schools.
What you are hearing is Capricio N. 5 by Nicolo Paganini played by one of the most talented Czech violinists, 31-year old Pavel Sporcl. Once you see him you'll remember - the young man never shows up without his favourite scarf on his head. He is a classical musician of extraordinary talent, as his newly released CD confirms.
Thursday saw the Prague premiere of a fascinating documentary film, made by the Austrian director Stephan Settele. The film, called "Gilaven! Sing!" looks at the life and work of one of the most charismatic of all Czech performers, the half Czech, half Romany singer, Ida Kelarova. As well as engaging audiences as a hugely gifted and dynamic performer in her own right, Ida Kelarova has won international acclaim for her musical workshops, where she helps people to find ways of releasing their emotions into song. She has a fundamental belief that
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