September 18, 2014

Balkan Romani Music and Events at UVa Next Week

Next Friday the UVa Music Department will host a number of Romani (Gypsy) music events featuring Bulgarian Romani saxophonist Yuri Yunakov and Romani music specialist Prof. Carol Silverman of the University of Oregon. For more information please click on the links below:

Yuri Yunakov and Carol Silverman Lecture/Demonstration of Romani Music (Friday, October 12, 10:00am-12:00pm, B18 Old Cabell Hall

“Global Gypsy: Romani Music, Representation, and Appropriation” a Colloquium by Carol Silverman (Friday, October 12, 3:30pm-5:00pm, 107 Old Cabell Hall)

Performance by the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble (Friday, October 12, 8:00pm, Old Cabell Hall Auditorium)

From the Music Department Website:

In the last twenty years  the popularity of Balkan Gypsy music has exploded, becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs. At the same time, thousands of East European Roma have emigrated westward due to deteriorating living conditions, and entrenched stereotypes of thievery have arisen amidst deportations and harassment. In this heightened atmosphere of xenophobia, Roma, as Europe’s largest minority and its quintessential “other,” face the paradox that they are revered for their music yet reviled as people.

Bulgarian-born Yunakov, who now lives in New York, became the first Romani winner of the prestigious NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 2011, our nation’s highest honor for traditional folk artists. He came to prominence as a member of Bulgarian Romani clarinetist Ivo Papasov’s pioneering Trakija Ensemble, which is credited with having created the genre known as Bulgarian Wedding Music, a Romani style with strong jazz influences. The style is characterized by technical virtuosity and improvisation in rapid, asymmetrical and often abruptly shifting rhythmic meters. Since emigrating to the US, Yunakov has led his own ensemble, sometimes collaborating with Papasov, and has several albums on the Traditional Crossroads label.

Carol Silverman is Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. Focusing on the Balkans, her research investigates the relationships among culture, music, politics, ethnicity, ritual, and gender. Her book, Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora (Oxford, 2012) analyzes how Roma have forged a nuanced identity in Macedonia and Bulgaria and in re-diasporic spaces in North America.

All events are free and open to the public.

The residency was funded by the U.Va. Council for the Arts with supplemental funding from the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, the American Studies Program, the Department of Anthropology, and the Dunton Gift.”