Romani singer Věra Gondolánová has passed away
After a long and difficult illness, the singer Věra Gondolánová has passed away at the age of 66. Her nephew Filip Gondolán announced the news through the Facebook social network.
"She has passed away after a long illness. She was as I have always known her... beautiful, proud, brave and to my mind the most talented member of our entire family," he posted.
Ms Gondolánová was born in 1954; her family is from the Brutovce community in Slovakia. At the age of 15 she began performing with her siblings Antonín, Vojtěch, František and Jiří in a family band called "The Gondolán Siblings" (Skupina sourozenců Gondolánových) and later with a Russian folk music ensemble.
The siblings stopped performing in 1973 after Vojtěch passed away and Jiří and Věra emigrated to Australia. Ms Gondolánová found a new home there, married, and discovered the genre of music that was most fulfilling to her as an artist.
Ms Gondolánová dedicated her life to chamber jazz and soul. She was always apprecated by musical professionals for her energetic performances and the brilliant vocal technique that made it possible for her to sing the demanding repertoire of Ella Fitzgerald.
She performed at the French festivals in Lyon, Montreuil and Paris, among others, but also at the KHAMORO World Roma Festival in Prague. The book Amendar, published by the Museum of Romani Culture, features an entry on her.
In 2004 she released an album entitled "Věra Gondolán: Klenoty romské hudby" ("Jewels of Romani Music"). She also performed a duet with Karel Gott, a jazz arrangement of The Beatles' hit "Can't Buy Me Love".
Ms Gondolánová also performed with "Felix Slováček's Big Band" and with "Ondřej Havelka's Melody Makers", with whom she sang compositions like "Summertime" or "Takin' a Chance on Love". She is one of only a few performers born in the former Czechoslovakia to have performed at the famous Olympia Hall in Paris.
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