The musical traditions of Eastern Europe's Gypsies have been given a modern sensibility by singer/songwriter Vêra Bílá and her group Kale. Better known in France than in their homeland, Bílá and the group craft a sound that reveals a wide range of influences. Born in the small gypsy village of Rokycany, in Bohemia, Bílá has been singing most of her life. Launching her career as a singer in her father's cymbalom band, she formed her own group, Kale, in the late '70s. Their appearance at a folk festival in the mid-'80s led to the band being invited to tour with top Czechoslovakian band Nerez and to a contract with BMG Ariola. Bílá and Kale were the subject of a Mira Erdevicki-directed film, Cerná a Bílá v Barve (Black and White in Color), in spring 1999.
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