More About Gipsy Kings

Gipsy Kings are a group of flamenco, salsa and pop musicians from Arles and Montpellier in the south of France, who perform in Andalusian Spanish. Although group members were born in France, their parents were mostly gitanos, Spanish gypsies who fled Catalonia during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. They are known for bringing Catalan rumba, a pop-oriented music distantly derived from traditional flamenco music, to worldwide audiences. The group originally called itself Los Reyes.

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 gypsy 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 worldwide 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 who triggered the wider popularity of rumba flamenca (also known as Spanish or gypsy rumba). It was famous singer Reyes, however, who was mostly responsible for the new surge of popular interest when he left Manitas de Plata and started a band of his own, made up of his own sons, which he called “Los Reyes” (as well as being the family name, reyes means “kings” in Spanish).

They became popular with their self-titled third album, Gipsy Kings, which included the songs “Djobi Djoba”, “Bamboléo”, and the romantic ballad “Un Amor”. Gipsy Kings was popular throughout Europe and in Africa, as well as in the Middle East.

Gipsy Kings was released in the United States in 1989 and spent 40 weeks on the charts, one of few Spanish language albums to do so. The band covered “I’ve Got No Strings” for the 1991 Disney video and compilation album Simply Mad About the Mouse. Their cover version of “Hotel California” was an example of fast flamenco guitar leads and rhythmic strumming: it was featured in the 1998 Coen Brothers’ movie The Big Lebowski. The 2010 film Toy Story 3 featured their rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, a Spanish-language version titled “Hay un Amigo en Mi” and performed in a recognisably flamenco style.

The band have been criticised by flamenco purists, but Nicolas Reyes said in an interview that the flamenco world is not in great shape itself and that the band are proud of their success; the Compas album contains more traditional flamenco music.

Gipsy Kings 2019 Tour Dates

7/18: Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI;
7/19: The Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL;
7/20: The Fillmore in Detroit, MI;
7/21: Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI;
7/23: Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO;
7/24: Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, CO;
7/26: Ovations Live! at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, AZ;
7/27: The Sandbar at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas, NV;
7/28: Grand Sierra Theatre in Reno, NV;
7/30: Humphreys Concerts By The Bay in San Diego, CA;
8/1: Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, CA;
8/2 & 3: Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA;
8/4: Vina Robles Amphitheater in Paso Robles, CA;
8/6: Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA;
8/7: Warfield in San Francisco, CA;
8/9: Chateau Ste Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA;
9/6: Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA;
9/8: Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA;
9/10: Paramount Theatre in Huntington, NY;
9/12: Xcite Center – Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem, PA;
9/13: College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT;
9/14: Beacon Theatre in New York, NY;
9/15: New Jersey Performing Arts Center – Prudential Hall in Newark, NJ;
9/17: Chevalier Theatre in Medford, MA;
9/18: Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall in Homestead, PA;
9/20: Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL;
10/4: Tucson Music Hall in Tucson, AZ;
10/6: Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center in Midland, TX.