Romnja Jazz



It is not only women in general who are clearly underrepresented in Jazz music, but especially women who identify as "People of Colour" find it particularly hard to assert themselves in the industry because of ongoing discrimination.

This is the reason why RomaTrial e.V. initiated the one-year RomnjaJazz programme: The focus is on jazz musicians and composers from Berlin with a Sinti or Roma background.

The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN (WdK), being simultaneously a venue for events and a producer, set itself the task of looking at current (culture and migration) political developments. The WdK addresses these issues by using various forms of art, culture and action, and will stage concerts by three artists in September 2019.

With the series WorldWideMusic goes RomnjaJazz the venue not only maintains its consistent focus on transculturality and diversity in order to reflect Berlin's variety of migrant and minority forms of culture, art and action. The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN thereby also continues this year’s focus on Balance for Better. An event that is already creating more visibility for female artists on the music scene of Berlin thanks to the concert series She´s Got Jazz and WorldWideMomenMusic. The venue is once again positioning itself as one of the few cultural institutions in Germany, which not only puts World Jazz on stage, but also defines the face of tomorrow's genre, not least through its own WorldJazzEnsemble. Little Big Band.

A project by Roma Trial e.V., supported by the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe.




J. Lamotta Duo

6th of September 2019 | 9pm(2nd set)


Berlin-based artist, J.Lamotta's music is inspired by Blues, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Soul. Her latest beats give her music a distinct RnB feel. Lamotta was born in Tel Aviv to a family of Moroccan descent, a heritage that influences her aesthetic and stylistic choices in a significant yet subtle way. She weaves Lauryn Hill, J Dilla, Marvin Gaye, Aaliyah and Billie Holiday into her compositions whilst maintaining a unique voice in today’s music. Intimate and personal expressions have always been the main characteristics in Lamotta’s songs.


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Riah Knight

6th of September 2019 | 9pm (1st set)


Riah May Knight was born in 1996 in Sussex, England. Being of British and Romnja descent she grew up in the middle of the Roma civil rights movement, which politicised her and gave her a platform for her work.

Riah plays Jazz inspired, Downtempo and Original Soul. She has been writing and performing music as a singer and songwriter for the past 12 years, playing venues such as the Notre Dame, the British House of Parliament, Brighton Dome and the London Roundhouse.

Currently, she can be seen at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, where she works as a musician and an actress, and where her compositions are performed. She starred in the plays “Roma Armee” (engl. 'Roma army', the opening show of the 2017 theatre season) and “Yes but No” (opening show of the 2018 theatre season), which earned her enthusiastic reviews and the moniker “blonde Amy Winehouse”.

In April 2018 she was invited do develop a performance piece and compose the music for the first Roma biennale “COME OUT NOW! “, organised by RomaTrial e.V. in conjunction with the Maxim Gorki Theater and Studio Я. As an alumna of the prestigious London Roundhouse, Riah continues to perform as a solo musician and is working on her first release in-between touring and appearing on stage.


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Matilda Leko

20th of September 2019 | 9pm

The singer and composer Matilda Leko grew up with the rhythms of the Balkans and the music of the Roma. From an early age, the native Viennese with Serbian and Roma roots began to experiment with different styles of music: from the sounds of her homeland to Pop, Rock, Soul and Jazz.


Discovering Jazz music brought her back to Vienna where she studied Jazz vocals. Matilda Leko was one of the first singers in Vienna to blend music from the Balkans with Jazz, and one of the first who gave this type of music a distinct sound and a new dimension. Her music transcends borders and is not reduced to only one genre or direction. Her compositions are challenging and emphasise her unusual and creative compositions.

Part of her repertoire include satirical, political Viennese songs. Her voice, which she uses like an instrument is bluesy, soulful and very versatile when improvising. Her lyrics recount stories based in real life.


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Tayo Awosusi-Onutor

27th September 2019 | 9pm

  Tayo Awosusi-Onutor vocals are soulful and she produces a cool mixture of Soul, RnB, Jazz and Sinti and Roma music.
Both her parents work in Funk and Soul music, and these influences formed the musical basis for her artistic background.
At the age of nine, she made her debut guest appearance with the Funky Breeze Band, who were the supporting act for the Ohio Players. She shared the stage with Soul legend Chaka Khan and worked with artists such as Ferenc Snétberger, Mariah Carey und Sarah Connor.

The singer/songwriter has no problems to adapt her songs in English, German or Romanes.



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The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.