Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 2013-2014

APRIL 20, 2016, Noon, No Tickets Required

Esma Redzepova

Coolidge Auditorium

Informal participatory dance led by renowned Romani dance master Sani Rifati.

Esma Redzepova is internationally acclaimed as the “Queen of Romani Songs” and is one of NPR’s “50 Greatest Voices.”  Born in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, she began her professional career at the age of 13.  She was the first Balkan performer to make Romani music popular with non-Romani audiences on elite concert stages in the early 1960s.  Esma, who sings in over 10 languages, earned the title “Queen of Romani Songs” at the World Festival of Romani Music in India in 1976.  At the Festival of Roma Experiences in Moscow in 2000, Esma was proclaimed Laureate and Roma Singer of the Century.  In 2013 she represented Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest. Esma has performed for many heads of state and has toured for more than four decades, giving more than 8,000 concerts in over 30 countries. She has played in plazas, stadiums, and opera houses, for villagers as well as world leaders. Her Ensemble has performed over 400 musical pieces on dozens of recordings, several of which achieved "gold" status in the former Yugoslavia.

In addition to her stage work, Esma is a dedicated humanitarian.  Over the past thirty years she has fostered forty-nine children and educated them in music and career development. She will be accompanied by some of these protégés, including master accordionist and ensemble arranger Simeon Atanasov. During the last decade, Esma has been building a "Home of Humanity and Museum of Romani Music" which includes an archive, theater, recording studio, and an outpatient clinic for underserved populations. Esma has been a major contributor to many advocacy and assistance programs for women and underserved populations, including disabled and Romani refugees from Kosovo. She has received numerous honors, including the Macedonian Order of Merit, and in 2013 she was proclaimed a National Artist of Macedonia.       

Folk Masters include: Simeon Atanasov, accordion; Filip Nunevski, trumpet; Aleksandar Stamenkovski, guitar; Nikola Mitrovikj, bass, and Safet Demirov, drums.

Presented in collaboration with Voice of the Roma and the Center for Traditional Music and Dance

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Most concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Occasionally, concerts may be in other locations, which will be specified above in the concert description. Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.