Gipsy Kings – a flamenco band from France
Gipsy Kings was formed in 1978, in Arles, France. The founder of the band was a popular flamenco musician Jose Reyes. His sons Nicolas and Andres Reyes joined the band. He also invited his wife’s nephew Chico Bouchikhi, but he shortly left to form his own group. The band got the name of its founder – Los Reyes. The group worked in the local bars and clubs of Arles. They performed different vibrant and romantic melodies and conquered the local public. The wonderful voice of Nicolas Reyes coupled with his brilliant guitar-playing skills was a big hit.
After Jose Reyes’ death, more members of the Reyes family joined the band: Francois and Patchai Reyes. The Baliardo family (Tony, Paco, and Diego) also became a part of the group. While enjoying the local popularity, Los Reyes decided to release two albums. However, they didn’t make it into the charts. The band continued performing all over the country. They attended local festivals. The fans were amazed at their enticing flamenco melodies. In the early 1980’s, the band members changed the name to Gipsy Kings.
In 1986, Gipsy Kings met a producer Claude Martinez, who was promoting young bands. With his help, their work became even more popular. The talented band members mixed gipsy music from the south of France with modern, vibrant songs, and Latin jazz and samba. The band’s creations also included romantic melodies, African tunes, Arabic chants, and the elements of pop music. The fans were ecstatic about the band’s music experiments.