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August 16, 2022



World-renowned pianist Tomáš Kačo performs in Prague as part of the KHAMORO World Roma Festival

17.7.2022 10:12

A unique concert by the phenomenal pianist Tomáš Kačo, accompanied by jazz musicians, was part of the July program of the KHAMORO World Roma Festival this year in the beautiful setting of the New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice) in Prague, where he performed with the drummer Marek Urbánek, the bassist Marek Cába, and the singer Igor Kmeťo, Jr., who is also a music producer. ROMEA TV broadcast the concert live online on Monday, 11 July. 

Critics say Kačo's music is a genre all of its own due to his original combination of classical music, jazz, and traditional Romani songs. His journey from playing an out-of-tune, second-hand upright piano in the Nový Jičín apartment of his big, traditional Romani family to performing on a concert grand Steinway before a packed audience in Carnegie Hall has all of the features of the American dream. 

In just two years, Kačo completed his studies at the prestigious Berklee College and has been performing worldwide ever since. His debut album "My Home" was critically acclaimed and features Grammy winner John Patitucci as a star guest performer. 

Kačo is one of 12 children and was first introduced to music by his father at the age of five. In an interview for Czech Radio, he recalled the "out-of-tune, old, broken-down upright piano" his family had in their home. 

"My aim is for the label of being a Romani or a Czech pianist to disappear for a while, for me to just be called a pianist," the performer has said. In addition to the other performers who accompanied him, his sister, the singer Veronika Kačová, was also introduced at the New Town Hall concert. 

"The KHAMORO festival is being held live after the break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated Government measures," said Jelena Silajdžic the director of Slovo 21, which convenes the festival on an annual basis. "The festival's subtitle this year is 'Let's Get Together'." 

The 2022 festival has featured the bands Connection and Imperio from the Czech Republic, an Israeli quartet called the Mediterranean Gypsy Swing Experience, and the brass brand group The Elvis Ajdinovic Orkestar. The organizers say that KHAMORO ("Sun" in Romanes) is the biggest festival of professional Romani musicians in the world. 

Prague has hosted the festival since 1999. In recent years approximately 10 000 people have attended it annually.

brf, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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