My name is Gary Small. I am 61-years-old and I am a musician and artist from Cornwall. I come from a long line of Romani folki, well-known in the South West of the UK.
I have followed the family tradition of making music. Several years ago, I decided to honour my puro folki, writing a series of songs based on the stories that had been passed down to me. The CD “Then and Now” is the result of that heritage.
I am deeply honoured that some of these songs are featured on Shikawa Romanus Project.
I was born in 1952 to Romany Gypsy parents, in a little bungalow in Sussex, moved on in 1956, travelled for three years, then settled in Wilshire. I'm married with a son and three daughters.
In 2007 I had a small poem and story book published called “The Old Ways Have Gone.” I had no idea at the time that it would go on to lead me to places like the Houses of Parliament and London's City Hall.
For the last 12-years I have been a member of the Gypsy and Traveler advisory group for Sussex Police, on all Gypsy and Traveler issues. I have found this experience to be very rewarding and successful over the years.
I would just like to add, that my poem - Gilliava Graffor’d that Bob Lovell reads with such feeling was written about my experience of marching on Remembrance Day Sunday 2011 for The First Cenotaph for Romany. It was one of the proudest days of my life.
I am a Welsh Triple Harpist and Composer [link] based in Herefordshire, U.K. Since 2016 I have been playing the Triple Harp professionally alongside my teacher Robin Huw Bowen. I have performed in a number of concerts and festivals in and around Wales.
I won the John Weston Thomas award at the 2018 Cardiff National Eisteddfod for Solo Folk Instrument. And I was awarded as Young Musician of the Year at Cwlwm Celtaidd Inter Celtic Festival 2019.
I am passionate about the Welsh Triple Harp tradition and the Welsh Romany Gypsy music of John Roberts. I hope to continue in Robin Huw Bowens footsteps, continuing these traditions, passing them onto the next generation of Welsh Triple Harpists.
Bob is a singer/songwriter, recording artist, social activist and former Vice President of Romani Association of Australasia. He is the first male Welsh Romany Lovell to be born in New Zealand.
Bob Lovell regular on NZ folk music scene - ok But not Australian folk scene . my times performing there was at RAA (Romani association of Australasia Gatherings early 2000’s and more so my music & songs featured regularly along with many other Rom Worldwide on The Gypsy Trail = 2009 – 2012 @ Illawara Community Radio Program Australia .
His song writing comes naturally from a tune he hears in his head that fits. His efforts have proved successful. Bob entered the Auckland Folk Music Festival Singer/Songwriter Award 1992 and won first place.
While visiting the UK, Bob met a producer, the late Simon Evans from BBC Kent who had launched the UK’s first Romany online page. Bob became a contributor. Previously, in 2005, he contributed to the Kent BBC Romany site his CD, “Rokkraben O Gillia/Talking the Songs.” Each song is introduced in Romanus and English.
In 2007, Bob played live from Cardiff BBC studios on Rokka radio, the UK’s first Romany radio program run by Jake Bowers. For many years, he was a regular on the circuits of the Australian and New Zealand folk music scene. He still performs every so often.
Now entering his 70s, Bob’s focus is about passing on his Romany legacy to the next generation – his Romanus language, music, guitar style and family stories to name a few. Recently, Bob has turned to social action as an advocate for Romany human rights. Presently, he is engaged with the New Zealand government’s Minister for Ethnic Communities on a petition to stop Romany cultural appropriation for commercial gain by non-gypsies.
Frances was born on the Welsh border and grew up in England. She's of mixed-heritage Welsh Gypsy-English, a direct line descendant of Abram Wood and the notable Welsh Romani family of musicians and storytellers.
She plays three musical instruments – piano, flute and harp. It is the harp that is a direct connection to her four times great grandfather, John Roberts Telynor Cymru who played harp for royalty, including Queen Victoria. Her great, great grandmother, Mary Ann Roberts (Wood) was a talented singer and harpist, her great grandmother Winnie Wood sang on the London stage as did her father, a gifted Welsh tenor.
Frances is a full-time writer. She has published numerous short stories, articles and poems and she has been a guest author on CBC Radio telling the story of her Romany ancestry. Frances’s recent poetry collection – Parramisha – Our Stories, embraces her heritage and Romany life – excerpts of which are soon to be a published in Stone to Stone: Anthology of Romani Women Writers.
As an independent documentary filmmaker, Frances trained at the BBC and worked for Canada’s national broadcaster, CBC. Her documentaries on human rights have been screened across Canada. Her award-winning film, More than Just a Job on women’s rights was a finalist in the Birmingham International Educational Film Festival.