Gypsy Boys

Gipsy Boys is a band formed of four Roma teenagers from the Lunik IX settlement in Kosice.  They started playing together in early 2020 at the suggestion of Martin Jano, one of the group’s guitarists.  “We came together because we want to do festivals and concerts,” says Jano, “here in Slovakia, in Czechia and other countries.  We want to entertain people, to put them in a good mood, and to distract them a bit from their worries, at least for a few moments while we’re playing.”

 The boys have been friends for years, and it shows when they play together – smiles often light their faces, and they often communicate with just a glance or a wink at one another.  “We love to play together because through music we really ‘get’ each other,” says Alex Rybar, who plays keyboards and guitar with the group.  “We express our feelings through the music, and we really work well together.” 

 “One of our strengths as a group is that we can play in lots of different styles,” adds Jano.  “We even play in church together,” he says, speaking of their participation in mass at the Roman Catholic church in the Lunik IX settlement.

 Formed just before the outbreak of COVID-19, the band members recognize that the pandemic has not made it easy for them to make progress.  With mass gatherings mostly banned in Slovakia, they’ve had only a handful of small concerts so far.  “We need to buy equipment so we can grow,” says band Jano, “but right now we can’t play anywhere or earn any money.”

 It was hard to make a living from music even before the pandemic, but they still dream of making it work.  And in the meantime, they’re continuing their studies – two of them study in local music schools, one at a school for agro-mechanics, and one has a dream of one day becoming a police officer.

 Members of the band include: Jan Dani, Rene Frater, Martin Jano and Alex Rybar.

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