Gipsy Kings – Tango Flamenco
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The Gipsy Kings are a group of musicians from Arles and Montpellier in the south of France who perform in Spanish with an Andalusian accent.
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. The group originally called itself Los Reyes. (“The Kings” in Spanish)
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 Gipsy Kings, born in France but brought up with Spanish culture, are largely responsible for bringing the sounds of progressive pop-oriented flamenco to a world-wide audience.
The band started out in Arles, a town in southern France, during the 1970s, when brothers Nicolas and Andre Reyes, the sons of flamenco artist Jose Reyes, teamed up with their cousins Jacques, Maurice, and Tonino Baliardo.
Manitas de Plata and Jose Reyes were a duo which had triggered the wider popularity of Gypsy Rumba. But it was famous singer Reyes who was mostly responsible for the new surge of popular interest, however, when he left Manitas de Plata and started a band of his own, made up of his own sons, which he called “Los Reyes”. The band would later become “Gipsy Kings”.
Los Reyes started out as a gypsy band. They traveled around France, playing at weddings, festivals, and in the streets. Because they lived so much like gypsies, the band adopted the name The Gipsy Kings.
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