OLDHAM Coliseum Theatre and Roma-led charity KaskoSan are presenting a series of live music jam sessions exploring the rich lyrical and performance traditions of the Roma and Romani Gypsy cultures.
The first session – Gypsy Jam – will be held on Wednesday, September 1 with Richard O’Neill and Juice Vamosi.
They will be joined on stage by special guest, rapper and world record breaking human beatboxer Testament.
Together, through re-imagining traditional Roma and Romani Gypsy music and lyrics, they will bring to life their individual musical inspirations and share stories and sounds in a live and lively jam session.
The sessions form a strand of the Coliseum and KaskoSan’s long-term project work, which supports Roma people in Oldham and aims to provide a platform for new Romani Gypsy, Roma and Traveller talent.
Richard is a multi-award-winning storyteller, author and playwright born and raised in a large traditional nomadic Romani family, whose history in England and Scotland goes back hundreds of years.
He continues the tradition of travelling across the UK and mainland Europe, delivering storytelling sessions and workshops at schools, libraries, festivals, universities and theatres.
He said: “Gypsy music and storytelling has always brought people together right across the world and we are so pleased to have the opportunity to do the same in Oldham with Gypsy Jam.”
Juice Vamosi is a Roma (Gypsy) activist, interpreter, film maker, marketing consultant and Gypsy party MC.
He grew up in a poor Roma community in Southern Hungary and was the first of his family to earn a university degree and to advise presidents of the World Bank and the EU.
In 2010, he built the KaskoSan social network, the first global Roma brand. As a charity since 2014, KaskoSan supports Roma families in Oldham, Bradford and Bolton.
Testament’s lyricism brings together strands of rap, song and spoken word. His innovative work includes the celebrated Hip-Hop album Homecut: No Freedom Without Sacrifice, features on MOBO nominated albums, several performances for BBC Radio 1, 1xtra, Radio 4 and 6Music as well as numerous television appearances.
He is writer and composer of the acclaimed hit play Black Men Walking which was nominated for Best Play at The Writer’s Guild Awards 2019 and Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards 2020. His radio play The Beatboxer was nominated for the Imison Award at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2020.
The Gypsy Jam project has already engaged more than 200 Roma children and young people and their families in creative activity and built capacity in the community.
Find out more and book tickets online: www.coliseum.org.uk