Gipsy Kings, a Grammy winning band of flamenco, salsa and pop musicians from the south of France recently performed at Al Mayassa Theatre of Qatar National Convention Centre – a night of pulsating music and scintillating lights. A blend of Latin and Cuban styles, jazz and Arabic music, the key style of Gipsy Kings, was the order of the day.
Gipsy Kings embraced the world’s imagination with their album Gipsy Kings – a record that became a genuine sensation, certified gold and platinum around the globe, exciting millions of listeners with a unique and captivating fusion of styles in 1987. The Gipsy Kings has over the years continued to delight the public with their Andalusian songs and music impressing the world with their great show Tour Gipsy Unidos in more than 40 concerts within the last year, featuring distinguished guests like Mario Reyes and Chico Castillo.
The atmosphere at QNCC was heart-throbbing as the audience, mostly expatriates from European and South American nations, thronged the theatre and relished Spanish flamenco and gypsy rhapsody meeting salsa funk. Together, they made everyone thrilled with great hits, including Bamboleo, Volare or Djobi Djoba among others.
Speaking to Community about their genre of music, Gipsy Kings responded, “Our music has no borders, it is universal and people responded wonderfully. It was our big pleasure to perform in Doha and we appreciate the warm welcome from the audience.”
Do they cater their performance according to the audience and the country they’re performing in? They said, “Gipsy Kings music is a very unique blend of Latin and Cuban styles, jazz and Arabic music which is the main pillar.
“We feel that performances in Arab countries are really special. We also performed three new songs in Doha and we hope that the beautiful audience of Qatar enjoyed these songs.”
One of the most important narratives in contemporary pop has been the emergence of Latin music recently. “The Spanish music is striking the world more and more these days. We are honoured and proud to bring our musical roots to everyone and to contribute to the musical scene,” the band says.
Talking about their experience of performing in Doha, the latin band said, “Doha concert was really amazing. The people are very nice and hospitable here. They knew all our music, and it was great pleasure to sing for them and with them.”
Peter Kieornan, an Irish expatriate living and working in Qatar, was excited to listen to the band. “I am going to hear them live after about 25 years. When I learnt about their concert here, I decided to come with my friends. Though there are many events taking place in Qatar, there are a few that suit my taste.”
Funda Akkus, a Turkish expatriate, was also very keen to listen and enjoy the unique music of the band. She said: “I decided to come here because Gipsy Kings has been a very famous music band since childhood and youth. And, I like them too. I’ve never have had a chance to listen the band live. When I heard that they are coming to Qatar, I could not stop myself from coming here.”
The band became popular with their self-titled album, Gipsy Kings, which included the songs Djobi Djoba, Bamboléo, and the romantic ballad Un Amor. Gipsy Kings was popular throughout Europe and in Africa, as well as in the Middle East. Gipsy Kings was released in the United States in 1989 and spent 40 weeks on the charts, one of few Spanish language albums to do so. The band covered I’ve Got No Strings for the 1991 Disney video and compilation album Simply Mad About the Mouse. Their cover version of Hotel California was an example of fast flamenco guitar leads and rhythmic strumming: it was featured in the 1998 Coen Brothers’ movie The Big Lebowski. The 2010 film Toy Story 3 featured their rendition of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, a Spanish-language version titled Hay un Amigo en Mi and performed in a recognisably flamenco style.
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