Sunday November 13, 2011
Tickets: $30 Advance/$35 Door (includes HST)
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Robi Botos Trio - CD Release
Julius Csoka Trio
The Roma Community Centre (RCC) opened in September 1997 after the arrival of over 3,000 Czech-Roma refugees in Canada. Since then, significant numbers of Roma refugees have s arrived from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia and other countries from the former Soviet Bloc, where they continue to face active persecution and systemic discrimination.
The Roma Community Centre came into being to serve both the needs of this new, ethnospecific group of Czech-Roma refugees as well as Roma in general in the Greater Toronto Area. The RCC has now created a structure that assists Roma refugees from many countries to integrate more easily into Canadian society. We continue to work to raise awareness about the issues that lead the Roma to seek asylum in Canada and to change attitudes towards them through advocacy and educational programs.
Born into a musical Romani (Gypsy) family in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, the mainly self-taught Robi Botos began his musical career when he was just a child, playing drums, and percussion with his father and two brothers. It was at age seven when Robi first took up piano, the instrument he has since mastered and with which he has made his mark.
Robi’s notable performances include: Concert at the Long Beach convention and entertainment centre. Opening concert for Bela Fleck, Stanley Clark, and Jean Luc Ponty, at the 2005 International Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival on the main stage. As well in the same year Robi opened for Oscar Peterson at the prestigious Stravinsky hall in Montreaux Switzerland.
Since immigrating to Canada in 1998, Robi has made great contributions to Canada’s jazz scene. He has been featured with many local and international greats including: Chaka Khan, Michael Brecker, Pat Labarbera, Marcus Belgrave, Steve Gadd, Terri Lyne Carrington, James Blood Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Donald Walden, Archie Alleyne, Dougie Richardson, Roberta Gambarini, Jake Hannah, Peter Appleyard, Jackie Richardson, Jake Langley, Vito Rezza, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Young, Norman Marshall Villenueve, Dennis Coffey, John Lamb, Joey DeFrancesco, Peter Cardinali, Toots Thielemans, Guido Basso, Avishai Cohen, and Richard Bona to name a some.
Micheal T Butch founded The Gypsy Rebels in 2005 with the dream of bringing the traditional Gypsy repertoire he learned from his parents and grandparents to a wider audience here in Canada. His goal is not only to keep the music of his ancestors alive, but also to add a new dimension to each song with original arrangements and a unique reggae, funk, and soul sound. Micheal is also an accomplished songwriter who sings from the heart about his passions, his philosophies, and his way of life.
The band’s music is influenced by the sounds of Micheal’s neighborhood, Kensington Market, a bohemian and culturally rich community in downtown Toronto. One of the band’s most popular songs, Nassau Street, is the story of how Micheal fell in love during a chance encounter one evening in the Market. Many of The Gypsy Rebels’ earliest performances took place at the bars, restaurants, and festivals nearby, including regular shows at The Piccadilly, The Press Club, Lola’s, and Kensington Pedestrian Sunday street festivals. Over time, the band expanded their audience with performances at some of Toronto’s top live music venues including The Gladstone Hotel, Hugh’s Room, and the main stage at The Harbourfront Festival.
With the arrangements cemented and the band’s musicians performing together several times per week, the time was right to record their first album, Between Worlds, at QED Media in Toronto. The album was released in Feb 2010 and pre-release versions of some of the tracks, including the band’s version of the de facto Gypsy national anthem “Jelem Jelem” (also “Zelem, Zelem”), have enjoyed online popularity on YouTube.
View Robi Totos perform at the following link:
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