Talking Strings | Music

Talking Strings - Prague.jpg
Talking Strings - Prague.jpg

Talking Strings | Music


"Music is the universal language." While guitarist Pavel Jany was growing up around the Romani (Gypsy) communities in former Czechoslovakia in Eastern Europe, local violinist Gary Schulte studied and analyzed music by the great masters of French Gypsy jazz, and other styles influenced by Romani music. Pavel and Gary (joined by bassist Dan Weston) work together in the Twin Cities since 2011.

"My most valuable experience from living in Eastern Europe came from my frequent encounters with Romani (Gypsy) artists and their families. Their music, so profoundly reflecting their culture and their history, continues to be a great inspiration for me", says Pavel Jany.

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TALKING STRINGS is a project presenting the history and evolution of Romani (Gypsy) music from the 17th century to the present day. Guitarist Pavel Jany, together with violinist Gary Schulte (occasionally joined by bassist Dan Weston), traces various styles of Gypsy music across the European continent from Spain and southern France to the Czech Republic and Russia, and demonstrates its strong characteristics, and profound influences on other musical styles (including European classical music and American jazz) around the Globe.

Pavel Jany has received his degree in classical guitar in his native country of the Czech Republic, but the diversity and eclecticism in his guitar playing, composing and teaching have no boundaries. His classical guitar background was enriched by the influences from East European Gypsy music. His three year stay in West Africa, and his travels to Brazil and other South American countries deepened his interest in African music, Latin, and Afro-Brazilian music. While his long musical journey encompasses many various styles, the music of his native country and surrounding regions remains one of his main domains. 

Gary Schulte is a violinist and performance composer to whom Stephane Grappelli gave his most sincere blessing. A veteran of A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, he has done everything from classical improvisation with harpsichord master Layton James to the avant garde with David Byrne, and extensive collaborative work with groups such as Ancestor Energy poetry-jazz with Louis Alemayehu, Ballet of the Dolls, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Sought after as a jazz violinist, he has gigged with some of the greatest artists of the Gypsy Jazz genre, including guitarist legend Dorado Schmitt.

Talking Strings duo - live at Star Studio/Children's Hospital in Mpls - COMPAS event

Talking Strings trio - live at Adieu Summer Concert in St. Paul - COMPAS supported event

Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs


The Story of Gypsy Music

In this exciting, energetic and interactive program, students learn about the history and evolution of Gypsy music, and about a variety of musical instruments played by the Romany musicians in various regions across Europe and around the globe. Students are invited to participate in the performance as a collective rhythm section providing the hand clapping and playing various hand percussion instruments (provided by performers).

Students also learn about the rich Romany culture, about the history and traditions of Romany people, and about their lifestyle that significantly varies from country to country in Europe and worldwide.