• RCI USA

I Still Believe in Magic - Sanda Weigl Sings Maria Tănase

Updated: Mar 31

A Triumph Revisited



With its breakthrough technology exhibitions and imposing country pavilions, the 1939 New York World's Fair was arguably the greatest show on earth. One of the stars of the Romanian program was a beautiful, assertive young singer who would later achieve immortal status. Maria Tănase took New Yorkers by storm and made the country pavilion, erected in the Romanian neo-Byzantine style, one of the most popular gathering points in the temporary town sprawling in Flushing, Queens. Decades after the Fair and Maria’s presence have long faded into oblivion, we conjure the great singer’s mesmerizing presence and replay the encounter between a fantastic artist and a fantastic city.


To mark the Romanian National Culture Day on January 15th, we are pleased to present the premiere of an original music video, produced by RCI New York, featuring internationally-acclaimed Romanian-born vocalist Sanda Weigl and the illustrious Japanese-American ensemble made up of Shoko Nagai, Satoshi Takeishi and Stomu Takeishi, who are reclaiming the memory of the legendary performer through some of her unforgettable songs, with a stunning jazz-inflected, modern interpretation.


As one of Maria Tănase’s songs goes: No matter what they say / We still believe in magic!





I STILL BELIEVE IN MAGIC: SANDA WEIGL SINGS MARIA TĂNASE


A music video by Alex Boda and Johnny Vacar


Performed by Sanda Weigl (voice)

With: Shoko Nagai (piano, accordion), Stomu Takeishi (bass guitar), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)


Written and directed by Alex Boda

Filmed and edited by Johnny Vacar

Sound recorded and edited by Johnny Vacar

English version of the songs by Andreea Iulia Scridon

Project manager: Raluca Cimpoiașu

Logistics and transportation: Gabriel Cimpoiașu


An original production of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York,

January 2022


On view at the Institute: "The Forest" by Brooklyn-based Romanian artist Dumitru Gorzo



Making of I STILL BELIEVE IN MAGIC




Well known to New York music aficionados for her sold-out shows at Cornelia Street Cafe, Joe’s Pub, BAM Cafe, Neue Galerie, The Kitchen, Drom or Barbès, Sanda Weigl is an accomplished artist with a true international vocation. Born in Bucharest, where she began her career as a child star on the Romanian National Television, she moved to Berlin with her parents at the age of thirteen only to become one of the first rock stars in East Germany. Later on, she started a second career at the Schiller Theater in West Berlin, her work in theater including collaborations with renowned directors and performers such as Luc Bondy, Juergen Flimm, Peter Zadek, and Robert Wilson. In 1992 Sanda Weigl relocated to the United States, where she soon became a sensation in New York’s famous downtown clubs, gaining the appreciation of audiences and critics alike. Along the years, she embarked on a series of very ambitious projects throughout the US, Europe and elsewhere. With her unique voice and irresistible charisma, she is a great promoter of Romanian traditional music and Gipsy music to foreign audiences around the globe.


In the press:

Romania Insider

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