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All Star Refjúdží Band: The flourishing transcultural band

4.9.2009

The Czech group All Star Refjúdží Band, whose members include asylum seekers from Czech refugee camps, have released their first album, Spas! (Kurdish for Thank you!). The album features vocals and instrumental contributions from musicians of nine different nationalities. The group’s songs contain elements of Chinese, Kurdish and Armenian music, although the group considers itself to be Czech and reworks classic Czech texts.

In 2004 I went to a refugee camp with a group of Dutch artists. We wanted to draw attention to the issue of refugees, and present these people to the Czech public. A year ago, we then worked with refugees to create the performance Dance Through the Fence at Archa Theatre and I asked the American musician Micheal Romanyshyn to bring together actors, Czech musicians and people who would like to live in the Czech Republic, and he created a musical concept.” explains director Jana Svobodová.

The band brings together various life stories and a mixes a range of musical styles - folk, pop, Chinese opera and even melodies from the Swiss mountains. “We didn’t insulate the musical roots of each of the musicians, instead we mixed everything in together to create something completely new. We’re not multicultural, we’re transcultural” explains Romamyshyn.

Where is my home..?
The new album features 14 international songs, including Czech schoolbook classics like Rais’ Cestička k domovu. “The final song takes its lyrics from Josef Kajetán Tyl and asks “where is my home?”. Sung by a Kurd, a Swiss man and a Chinese woman, the text takes on a completely new meaning”, says director of Archa Theatre Ondřej Hrab.

Two days ago the band gave a hugely successful concert in Berlin before an audience of several thousand. They are now considering a bigger tour.

From Czech Television 24 (ČT24), 3.6.2009
(Translated from Czech)

You can find this article online at: http://www.ct24.cz/kultura/56810-all-star-refjudzi-band-transkulturni-kapela-ktere-se-dari/

ALL STAR REFJÚDŽÍ BAND ON MYSPACE: http://www.myspace.com/allstarrefjudziband

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