Gipsy Kings Tuesday, August 21, 7 p.m. Sold Out
The Gipsy Kings started out in Arles, a town in southern France, during the 1970s, when brothers Nicolas and Andre Reyes (sons of renowned flamenco artist Jose Reyes) teamed up with their cousins Jacques, Maurice and Tonino Baliardo (themselves sons of flamenco guitarist Manitas de Plata). Although group members were born in France, their parents were mostly gitanos, Spanish Romani people, who fled Catalonia during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. They are known for bringing rumba catalana, a pop-oriented music distantly derived from traditional flamenco music, to worldwide audiences. When an American admirer told the band their name Los Reyes meant “The Kings” in English they realized they were born to be Gipsy Kings. Manitas de Plata and Jose Reyes (the fathers of the Gipsy Kings members) sang alongside guitarist Manitas de Plata and did much to popularize flamenco internationally. Among the duo’s admirers were John Steinbeck, Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Miles Davis. Their music has a particular rumba flamenca style with pop influences. Many songs of the Gipsy Kings fit social dances, such as salsa and rumba. Their music has been described as a place where "Spanish flamenco and Romani rhapsody meet salsa funk." The current Gipsy Kings are Nicolas Reyes (lead vocals, guitar), Paul Reyes (backup vocals, guitar), François "Canut" Reyes (backup vocals, guitar), Patchai Reyes (backup vocals, guitar), André Reyes (backup vocals, guitar), Diego Baliardo (guitar), Paco Baliardo (guitar) and Tonino Baliardo (lead guitar). The three left-handed guitarists in the Gipsy Kings play guitars that are strung for a right-hander, playing them upside-down. These left-handed performers focus on delivering the strong underpinning rhythms while the right-handed and conventionally styled Tonino Baliardo performs more complex leads. The Gipsy Kings have released 18 albums over the past 30 years selling more than 14 million albums. They have also had a great number of collaborations with many renowned artists. These include "Speaking of Dream" with Joan Baez in 1990, a duo of "My Way" with Francis Cabrel in 1993, a version of Bob Marley's "One Love” sung with his son Ziggy Marley, Georges Reyes' song "Donde esta el amor" with Nicolas Reyes in 2006, and “Get Up!" with Captain Jack. The Gipsy Kings have played twice at Denver Botanic Gardens, on 8/23/2005 and 8/11/2008. The band's manager, Michel Crupel (the only English-speaking member of the Gipsy Kings' entourage) says, “In the end, the Gipsy Kings' broad appeal is straight forward. It’s just good music. There is no political message. It's all about love, life and rhythm." He also said, "People dance, and we love that." To fully enjoy the Gipsy Kings you will have to get up and dance.
Please enjoy this concert! Thanks, once again, to Gardens’ member Rick Hum for another great pre-concert review.