With over 20 million albums sold, The Gipsy Kings have become a household name over the past twenty-five years. Their music extends through generations, to the sounds of their ancestors, and reflects the eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos, Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War.
After the death of singer Nicolas Reyes’s father in 1979, songwriters and producers Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo traveled throughout the country, busking on the streets of Cannes, playing wherever they could. Having adopted the perpetual motion of the gypsy lifestyle, they eventually translated “Los Reyes” and changed their name to The Gipsy Kings.
Their sound has reflected the constant travel and diverse influences of the gypsy heritage. Over the years, the music of The Gipsy Kings has incorporated elements of Latin and Cuban styles, Arabic music, reggae, and jazz guitar reminiscent of the French Gypsy master Django Reinhardt. Within the mix of all these influences and musical elements, the group has never lost their intense connection to the traditional flamenco of their heritage, keeping a spotlight on Tonino Baliardo’s fluid guitar work and Nicolas Reyes’s powerful vocals.
This broad cultural mix has enabled the Gipsy Kings to be embraced wherever they play—from China to Brazil, New Orleans to Russia, Australia to Africa. As they continue to travel the world, absorbing new cultures and styles, this mobility, curiosity, and adaptation drives their music ever forward.
The Gipsy Kings have spent a remarkable two-and-a-half decades at the top, in a category that’s all their own and have introduced millions of listeners to a unique, irresistible blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms.
The trio will perform at Centre In The Square on Thursday, May 12. During this tour, The Gipsy Kings will be performing in Belgium, all throughout the United States, Switzerland, France, and The United Kingdom. Their performance in Kitchener is one of only two stops in Canada during their international tour so make sure you get your tickets.