Gipsy Kings is the OG gitano rock band. Way before Gogol Bordello sang punky odes to the proverbial wanderer, the Kings traversed the globe, blending Spanish rumba and flamenco guitar for a worldwide audience.
Formed in 1978, Gipsy Kings is two sets of siblings, the Reyes and the Baliardos. They are descendants of Spanish gypsies who fled to France in the 1930s to escape civil war. The Reyes brothers grew up harvesting crops and making music before launching a family band with their father, legendary flamenco artist Jose Reyes. After his death, the siblings partnered with the Baliardo boys at France's Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer gypsy pilgrimage, drank some wine, and started a flamenco-inspired crew.
Since releasing "Bamboleo" in 1987, a three-and-a-half-minute version of the popular Venezuelan folk song "Caballo Viejo," the Gipsy Kings have enjoyed international crossover superstardom. And this Friday, the quartet will swing through Miami for a one-night stand at the James L. Knight Center.
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A flamenco-pop version of "Hotel California" does not come cheap, though. Even the nosebleed seats cost $60. But what did you expect? These guys are actual gypsies.