Search
29.8.2014
NEWS

HISTORY

TRADITIONS, CULTURE

PERSONALITIES

USEFUL CONTACTS

PHOTOS OF THE ROMA

VARIOUS

RADIO PRAGUE












Česky English Deutsch Francais
Vera Bila - singer

Singer Vera Bila was born May 22, 1954 in Rokycany in the Gina family of musicians. At the age of 15 she started living with her husband Frantisek, with whom she adopted a son, Frantisek, ten years later. She began her singing career at family celebrations, weddings and parties with the dulcimer music of her father, Karol Gina. today she appears with her own band, Kale, in concerts all over Europe, and North America as well.

Vera Bila

Vera Bila called attention to herself and her band in 1995, when her album Rom pop was released with the substantial production assistance of singer Zuzana Navarova, and on which her group Kale introduced it's own songs. For many people at the time, the then forty-year-old singer from Rokycany was a real discovery, in spite of the fact that she had been singing since childhood.

In 1998 Vera Bila and Kale released their second album, Kale kalore, and sold out dozens of concerts around Europe. In France she is revered, in Canada she was supposedly offered resident status and in the U.S. she was the star of a festival of Romani music from all over the world.

"When God didn't give me children, he replaced it with something else," says Vera Bila.

It could be said that she's a star, but Vera Bila has remained herself - success hasn't changed her in the slightest. She continues to live in a small, modestly furnished flat in Rokycany, and she continues to repeat to every journalist that she's still an ordinary woman. A there is even a film about the ordinary life of this extraordinary singer and woman, Cernobila v barve (Black And White In Colour), which took director Mira Erdevicki almost a year to make and which premiered in the spring of 1999.

Vera Bila with director Mira Erdevicki

In the film, just as in all her interviews, Vera Bila says that she herself has never encountered any racism in the Czech Republic and that she would never leave the country. "I would never go anywhere else. You have to work everywhere. Life isn't a bed of roses anywhere. Not even in Canada. The majority of those who left returned home in the end. If they had had it good over there, they never would have done that. I was born in Rokycany and I want to die here as well. My family is here. Even though living here is sometimes not easy. My husband and son are unemployed and I have to support the family, pay the rent and other bills," said Vera Bila in an interview for Zemske noviny (Zemske noviny, September 12, 1998)

Actually, finances almost became the singer's downfall... Vera Bila was accused of illegally receiving state support, though she was later acquitted of the charges.



Related articles
DateTitleFeature
02.06.2007Khamoro - Gala concert of traditional Roma music: Kale (Czech Republic)Current images
20.06.2005Vera Bila releases new album "c'est comme ca"News
19.12.2004Encore: Zuzana Navarova - remembering an exceptional Czech musicianNews
08.12.2004Much respected singer-songwriter Zuzana Navarova dies at 45News
26.02.2000Roma Festival to take place in Washington and New YorkNews
04.05.1999Roma Festival to take place in Washington and New YorkNews
Article
Format for printing
Send as e-mail

Also in section "Czech and Slovak Roma Personalities"
  Jozef Feco
  Miroslav Holomek
  Jan Josef Horváth - photographer
  Czech and Slovak Roma Personalities
  Tomas Holomek
Archive of the section

Most popular articles
394491   26.02.00 Some Basic Information about the Roma Population in the Czech Republic
264860   27.01.05 The 'Devouring': A look at the Romani Holocaust
117413   26.02.00 The History and Origin of the Roma
109500   26.02.02 The Language of the Roma
94534   02.06.03 The Roma Holocaust
81108   21.02.04 Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
76436   26.02.00 The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma
71019    World famous Roma Personalities
67357   13.06.00 The History of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic
60952    Photographs by Romani Children
Copyright © Český rozhlas / Czech Radio, 1997-2014
Vinohradská 12, 120 99 Praha 2, Czech Republic
E-mail: info@romove.cz