Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Gipsy Kings

Courtesy of HIP

Gipsy Kings

Tokyo comes alive to the sounds of Spain when the Gipsy Kings bring their brand of pop-oriented flamenco to town for two nights of engagements at the cathedral-in-glass, the Tokyo International Forum.

Formed in the southern French village of Arles near the Spanish border, the Gipsy Kings were the creation of brothers Nicolas and Andre Reyes, sons of renowned flamenco artist Jose Reyes, who teamed up with cousins Jacques, Maurice and Tonino Baliardo. Originally called Los Reyes, they started out as a journeymen band playing weddings, festivals, and in the streets.

Changing their name to Gipsy Kings to suit their itinerant lifestyle (and ethnicity - they speak the gypsy dialect Gitane), the band didn' attract much notice until they teamed up with visionary producer Claude Martinez. Martinez saw the potential in Nicolas Reyes' powerful voice and Baliardo's masterful flamenco guitar, and encouraged the Kings to add elements of rock and world music to their traditional sound.

The first results of the collaboration were the unforgettable singles "Djobi Djoba" and "Bamboleo," which took Europe by storm in 1988 and led to the Gipsy Kings signing with Sony. The rest, as they say, is history. The Kings went on to conquer America and other parts of the world, topping it off with an invitation to perform at the presidential inauguration of George Bush in 1989.

The Gipsy Kings' most recent album, the first featuring all new material since 1993, is Tierra Gitana, released recently on Nonesuch.

Gipsy Kings play Tokyo International Forum on May 12-13. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana