USA: Pianist Tomáš Kačo performs solo at Carnegie Hall - "There is no box for this music"
The pianist Tomáš Kačo is one of 12 siblings from a very modest background who has worked his way up through self-instruction to become one of the best jazz piano students at the prestigious Berklee College in Boston, of which he is a graduate. On 22 February yet another dream of his came true - performing at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York.
The solo concert was subtitled "Gypsy Soul". Czech Radio's Radiožurnál station reported on the preparations for the gifted pianist's concert directly from New York.
"It was an out-of-tune, old, broken-down upright piano we had at home. I remember that Dad used lipstick to mark the A keys, that was my orientation point. Everybody learns in music school that the first note to focus on is C, but my Dad taught me that the first note I had to recognize is A. That was the first note I learned," the pianist recalled for Radiožurnál when asked how he began to play music in his home town of Nový Jičín, Czech Republic.
An article on the radio station's website reports that: "Tomáš Kačo supported his own gifts through hard work and sheer will and after succeeding in Prague decided to take the next step, even though at that moment he did not have any money. He passed the entrance examinations to go to school in Boston and, with the support of Professor Noemi Zárubová and financial aid from Czech patrons, he got his American chance to be in a world that facilitated his musical development to an extent he had never dreamed possible, one that perceives his Romani origin to be an advantage, an interesting distinction, and a world that is now giving him the space to perform in a famous concert hall."
In a previous interview for Czech Radio, Kačo described how strikingly different the approach to diversity is in the "West". "When I explained to my fellow pupils that I am Romani, it seemed brilliant to them. They said they also wanted to be 'gypsy'. Out in the world I understood that 'different' means interesting, not bad," he said of his experiences studying in Boston.
"It would not be fair to say that I represent Romani music, or the Czech Republic. Those things... that boxes you in. I am going to Carnegie to represent myself. I will play music that is not Romani, not Czech, not classical and not jazz. In my opinion, there is no box for this music. It's basically open, any listener can take what he or she wants from it," the young musician says.
- USA: High school students protest school shootings, demand stricter controls on guns
- Romani musician Ida Kelarová to present young Romani musicians she has coached in concert Friday with the Czech Philharmonic
- Egypt: Band Introduces Traditional Romani Music to the Egyptian Jazz Scene
- Czech Republic's 2017 Ghettofest to feature Amaro Records music stage, an Anne Frank corner, and readings in a former prison
- Czech Republic: Motion to name park after Romani musician passes the first bureaucratic hurdle
- 19th annual KHAMORO festival in Prague: Conferences, exhibitions, football - and music
- Czech Republic: Romani street musician shines in "Pianist of the Year" competition
- Czech civil society prize goes to Romani musician Radek Banga for protesting music award to neo-Nazi band
- Deputy Mayor of Prague proposes Romani celebrity receive award from the Czech capital for his brave stance against hate music
- Radoslav Banga: I walked out of the Czech music awards because Nazism does not belong in public life
- Romani celebrity walks out in protest after neo-Nazi singer and his band win second place in Czech music awards
- Gifted Romani musician succeeding brilliantly in USA
- Petr Kotlár: Filming with Václav Marhoul was a colossal experience
- LIVE BROADCAST: Gala awards ceremony Tajsa 2019 for Roma in the arts and culture
- Austria: Wiener Symphoniker names Dalibor Karvay its new first concertmaster
- Gipsy.cz's new video calls on adults and children to put down their phones and go outside together
- International Romani Language Day celebrated with readings in six Czech cities
- Czech Republic: Roma Pride 2019 broadcast live online by ROMEA TV
- Hollywood Reporter says "The Painted Bird", starring a Romani child actor, is among the 20 best films this year
- Czech film of "The Painted Bird" features Romani child actor in the main role
- ROMEA TV: Czech Republic's Gipsy Brothers band reminisces about 16 years of friendship
- US Holocaust Museum offers unique opportunity in Prague to relatives of those persecuted on Protectorate territory
- "Romani Army" by Berlin-based Maxim Gorki Theater Company gets standing ovation at Czech festival
- EEA and Norway Grants will support building of memorial to Romani victims of the Holocaust at former concentration camp site