Their influence on artistic achievements in all these has been immense. They have helped forge such unique artistic expressions such as the art of flamenco in Southern Spain and sustain it today with their unique contribution – most of the leading exponents are Gypsy or are heavily influenced by them. And this is just one example.
Yet Roma, Gypsies and Travellers are often thought of negatively, as dirty and as trouble.
As well as emphasizing the positives we need to debunk the negatives. GRTHM through workshops, exhibitions and shows hopes to dispel some of the myths.
The Travelling community has always included some of the most talented musicians of any period. Most people have heard of the great guitarist Django Reinhardt, a Belgian Sinto Gypsy and one of Europe’s first great Jazz musicians. In the present day Le Taraf de Haïdouks, Fanfare Ciocarlia and Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra are among the most popular orchestral performers in the world. The critically-acclaimed rock band Gogol Bordello and their frontman Eugene Hütz are fusing traditional Gypsy music with new forms for a wider audience to promote Romani rights.
In the past, many classical composers such as Debussy and Liszt were inspired by traditional Gypsy music. Now youth from the Travelling communities are starting to express their heritage through new musical forms: in the UK, artists such as Tommy Pearce and Jamal Jimenez are part of a growing Gypsy Rap movement which is taking GRT music in new directions.