When it comes international world band Gipsy Kings, everything revolves around family. Raised in Arles, France, the Reyes and Baliardo families were living in the countryside, which had Roman ruins, and most importantly they were surrounded and immersed in the gypsy culture. During the 1970’s, the Reyes brothers would tour festivals and perform with their father, Jose, under the band name Los Reyes, performing traditional flamenco music, which was later became the foundation of much of the Gipsy Kings’ music. The band stayed together until Jose’s death, which although devastated the boys (Patchai, Nicolas, Andre, and Francis) brought them closer together as they continued with their family tradition of performing in front of campfires and parties. The Reyes brothers also embarked on the Saint Marie de la Mer Gitan pilgrimage, to get closer to their culture and to honor their father. This event would change their lives forever. When they arrived at the festival, they were happy to discover that their cousins, the Baliardos were performing their rhumba inspired music as well. Soon the flamenco playing brothers were playing with their cousins, creating the signature rhumba flamenco blend the world is familiar with as Gipsy Kings music. This rhumba flamenco fusion was first popular with their familiar gypsy crowd, but then it started becoming part of the French and European mainstream.
In 1987, the Gipsy Kings headed to the studio to record Gipsy Kings. While this wasn’t anything new for them (they had two previous releases Allegra and Luna de Fuego), they departed from the traditional acoustic sound that the two previous albums had, opting for a smoother sound. The result? The Gipsy Kings spent 40 weeks on the US charts in 1987; a feat not accomplished by many Spanish language albums and it sold over 25 million copies. In 1989, the band released Mosaïque, which had two different versions created: one for the North American release and one for European audiences. The main difference between both is the placement of "Niña Morena" on the North American release in lieu of instrumental "Bossamba" on the Europe release. The 1990s gave the Gipsy Kings award wins and nominations. Grammy Nominations for Best World Album included: Este Mundo (1991), Love and Liberté (1993), Tierra Gitana (1996), and Compras (1997). 1993’s Love and Liberté was also nominated and won the Best Pop Album of the Year at the Latin Grammys. Even though the 2000s didn’t have any award nominations, the Gipsy Kings did grow: they branched their audience to include Japanese listeners. Somos Gitanos (2001), Roots (2004), and Pasajero (2006), similarly to Mosaïque, Love and Liberté, Estrellas (a European version of Tierra Gitana released in 1995), and Tierra Gitana, each had an album version created based on location.
Savor Flamenco and Gipsy Kings World Tour:
In 2013, after being nominated time and time again for Grammy Awards, the Gipsy Kings finally got their first golden phonograph with Savor Flamenco, their 13th release. A tour was announced shortly thereafter and audiences will look forward to some Gipsy Kings music from their early days, primarily focusing on Savor Flamenco, with stops in France, Belgium, Japan, and the Philippines, with their final performance being performed on October 30 for the year.