Saturday, January 31, 2004
Yuri Yunakov is a saxophonist who will do anything to play his music. He is a member of the Roma culture (better known to most people as Gypsies) which historically has been a marginalized group in Europe. Wherever they've gone across Europe, they've been discriminated against, and have survived mostly by working as horse traders, fortune tellers — and entertainers. Yunakov was playing wedding music in Bulgaria in the 1970’s when the government there made Roma musicians a target of persecution. He got chased off a bandstand and up a mountain by cops there, just for playing. Yunakov and Carol Silverman, who teaches Folklore at the University of Oregon, tell Studio 360 what made Roma music unique and dangerous. Produced by Jonathan Mitchell.