Big concert for the Roma in New York City on November 3

roma concertNEW YORK, — The Romani Media Initiative and Areté Youth Foundation will present a benefit concert “Sing it Romanes” in New York City on Nov. 3 to celebrate and spotlight Romani music and culture.

A dais of talented musicians and performers will tell the epic story of Romani history, from their first arrival inEurope to their ongoing struggle for inclusion. Combinations of music, dance and dramatic performance will create a unique and unforgettable musical experience. The night promises to be a dynamic celebration of Romani culture and arts throughout history and a source of Roma pride.

“Sing it Romanes” will take the audience on a musical journey through the history of the Romani people, depicting the struggles and hardship they encountered in the face of persecution while celebrating their culture, accomplishments and perseverance.

The Romani people – commonly called by the derogatory name “Gypsy” – are an ethnic group thought to have originated in Northern India over a thousand years ago. Now the Roma comprise the largest ethnic minority inEurope with population estimates as high as 15 million. There are also roughly a million Roma living in North America. Romani people remain highly marginalized especially in Eastern Europe and are routinely deprived of education, employment opportunities, social services and even basic health care.

The “Sing it Romanes” event will be held Nov. 3, 2016, at 8 p.m. at the prestigious Bohemian National Hall located at the Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York City. The concert is a collaboration led by the Romani Media Initiative and supported by Areté Youth Foundation and the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Tickets are on sale now, and can include a VIP dinner of authentic Romani cuisine.

Performers at the event include Vadim Kolpakov, an acclaimed guitarist and collaborator with Madonna, andPetra Gelbart, founding member of the Initiative for Romani Music, and member of the band Via Romen. Fashion icon and designer to Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, Michael Costello, will be honored with the prestigious “Baxt Award” and critically acclaimed director Jasmine Dellal, producer of “Gypsy Caravan” starring Johnny Depp, will receive the “Amaro” award.

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