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, the 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 Spain's civil war.
The Reyes brothers grew up harvesting crops and making music before starting a family band with their pops, legendary flamenco artist Jose Reyes. After the father's death, his sons partnered up with the Baliardos boys at the St. Marie de la Mer Gitan pilgrimage, drank some wine, and started a band.
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 the quartet will swing through Miami for a one-night stand at the James L. Knight Center on April 20.
A flamenco pop version of "Hotel California" does not come cheap, though. Even the nosebleed seats cost $60. But what'd you expect, these guys are actual gypsies.
Gipsy Kings. Friday, April 20. James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $48 to $123 plus fees via ticketmaster. Call 305-372-4634 or visit jlkc.com.
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