Hilja Grönfors

Hilja Grönfors is known as the “jewel of Finnish Roma music“. She honours the tradition of Scandinavian Roma musicians, who used to sing only within family, orally passing on their songs, lyrics and
With her clear voice that has won her the prestigious Kaustinen Folk music award and her
wonderful musical arrangements, she transforms a concert into a unique experience. The voice
sighs, swings and chimes. The rhythms range from Latin-American Beguine and Rumba to Finnish
Tango and Jenkka. The influences are deliciously diverse.
Born in the northern Karelian town of Juuka, she sees her forbearers as originated from
Rajasthan, India. She has collected the songs of her people, more than 120 by now: Having
them sung for her, she writes down the lyrics and memorises the melodies – to save them from oblivion. It
is the Roma Blues she sings: Tales of yearning and of sorrow, dark deeds, joy, and love.

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