Berlin, 30 April 2019
RomnjaJazz: The so-called “Roma music” can also do Jazz.
On the occasion of the International Jazz Day , RomaTrial e.V. presents the artistic one-year female jazz project, which received funding from the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe in 2019. It supports three musicians with Roma or Sinti backgrounds who refuse clichés of any kind.
The RomnjaJazz project reacts to the continuing discrimination and under-representation of women in the jazz scene, especially female musicians and composers who identify as “People of Color” or have a minority background.
From February to December 2019, the jazz musicians and composers Riah Knight, Matilda Leko and Tayo Awosusi-Onutor will work with experts from various fields to advance their artistic development, improve their practical management skills and create an appealing image to represent themselves. The program is divided into three phases: visibility, composition and collaboration. In addition to workshops and the development of new music pieces, joint performances in Berlin are also planned. “I think this project is really needed, not just for our community and how we occupy space in the mainstream, but also for women in the Berlin jazz scene in general. RomnjaJazz is one of many examples of women coming to the forefront in Sinti and Roma art and activism. We are many, and we will continue to rise,” says Riah Knight.
The project wants to showcase the heterogeneity of the Sinti and Roma communities and also wants to highlight the participating artist’s individual contributions to society. Therefore RomnjaJazz is also a way to counter the daily and omnipresent devaluation of Sinti and Roma. “Romnja” stands for the female plural form of the self-description. Tayo Awosusi-Onutor says: “Many of the musical contributions by Sintizzi and Romnja are not visible to the public. Therefore I am especially happy to be part of the RomnjaJazz project together with two sisters and colleagues. I think this is a very special project. People should be curious!”
Download the press release in pdf format here.
Tel.: 0160 499 0175
Leipziger Str. 66, 10117 Berlin, Germany
A project by RomaTrial e.V., sponsored by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa