Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Tribute to Esma Redzepova

Čajorije, šukarije,
ma phir urde pala mande,
ma phir urde pala mande, čaje!

Esma Redzepova

Esma Redzepova passed away on December 11, 2016, after a short illness. She was 73.

One of my biggest regrets was that I never saw her live in concert. In April of this year she did a tour of the United States, which included performances in New York City and Washington, DC.

This week's post is a tribute to the great singer and humanitarian who was an advocate for the Romani people and women's rights.  She was the first performer to make Romani music popular with non-Romani people.  Everyone knows her by her first name.

Video #1 is Djelem, Djelem, the anthem of the Romani people. You can find the original lyrics and a translation here. It is the song of a people who have traveled all over the world.  It is the lament of those who have suffered persecution.

Video #2 is her best-known song, Chaje Shukarije, a love song about a beautiful girl.

Video #3 is a performance in the studio of  KEXP in Seattle, in April 2016. Here she appears at 8:23 after the Folk Masters play.  She talks about her music through a translator, and performs both Macedonian and Romani songs.

She made a trip to India to a festival in 1976 and was crowned by the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. (The Roma people originally came from India.)

If you have an hour to spare, here is a performance of Esma with her band Folk Masters which took place at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in April, 2016.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

A Romani Potpourri

A Romani Potpourri Part Two

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