This is an instrumental version of a well-known Roma folk song, Šukar Jakha (Beautiful Eyes). This version, performed by student musicians from the Galakticka school, is in the popular Čardaš style, but is also inspired by the popular “Gypsy Jazz” style of guitar playing made famous by Roma musician Django Reinhardt.
Reinhardt, a 20th-Century jazz guitarist from Belgium, may be the best-known Roma musician worldwide – he composed many of his own songs, founded several groups and played with a number of jazz greats in the 1930’s and 1940’s, including Duke Ellington.
It’s important for these young musicians to learn about and imitate successful Roma who have gone before them. It happens often in Roma popular music, but not so often with other types of music. Most Roma children only hear a couple of musical styles, says Marcel Senkyr, the group’s teacher and director. “Usually, the only people who can introduce new music to them are the ones who have the biggest, loudest speakers.”
But Senkyr knows that listening to “old-fashioned” music like Reinhardt’s is essential for these aspiring musicians. For kids from the Lunik IX slum or rural villages, his success story can provide a spark of hope and inspiration that might lead them to try something great themselves!
Šukar jakha (Beautiful Eyes – Instrumental)
Roma Folk Song
Šukar jakha lačha hin,
Af ča te khelel.
Af ča pheňori, af ča te khelel,
Kamaf tuke te phenel!
Girl, you have beautiful eyes –
Come and dance with me!
Come, sister, dance with me,
I have something to tell you!
Instruments: Martin Ferkov, Alex Rybar
Music Director: Marcel Šenkýr