Rajasthan News

European gypsies coming back to home in RIFF 2013

by RajasthanDirect
Jul 13, 2013

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) 2013, Jodhpur, slated from October 17 to 21 would be an emotional musical homecoming of the gypsies from south of France to their “ancestral” home in Rajasthan. A project that takes the best of the Gipsy Kings’ Rumba and fuses it with Indian instruments and ‘alap’ called ‘Bamboleo meets Bollywood’ would also be launched at the festival in Jodhpur under the October full moon at Meharangarh Fort, Jodhpur.

The largest and most experimental project, ‘Return to Rajasthan’, as it is called, follows this amazing musical and cultural journey as they negotiate the common land and wide gulfs between them from a studio in Los Angeles to the Gipsy Kings founder Nicholas Reyes’ home in Camargue, France, to Spain’s gypsy superstar Antonio Carmona’s home in Andalusia, Spain, the Gypsy Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany, and the Migration Gateway in Istanbul, Turkey before travelling to their ancestral home in Jodhpur, to work with local artists to record an album. This collaboration will be showcased at the RIFF.

This comes close on the heels of a recent DNA test result which proves many European gypsies’ belief that they are descendants of gypsies in Rajasthan. The test results show that the DNA from Rajasthani tribes matches the DNA of the European gypsies. The DNA study by an Indian microbiologist provided the science to confirm what Nicholas and his clan has always known – that the gypsies come from Rajasthan.

The all-star collaboration featuring Gypsy Kings’ Mario Reyes and Georges Reyes had spawned a new project called the Gypsy Allstars which will explore the origins of gypsy culture in Rajasthan, merging Indian and gypsy rhythms. The Gypsy AllStars was, a super group founded by Gypsy Kings that emerged out of south of France. Former drummer Cedric Leonardi and Gipsy Kings family members George (son of Nicholas) and Mario Reyes were also joined by the Spanish flamenco legend Antonio Carmona as well as other European gypsies.

The Gypsy Allstars, have been hand picked by Cedric Leonardi, who grew up with the Gypsy Kings and their families in Montpellier’s ‘la cite gely’ and who as their drummer, had the privilege of performing with them. The Gypsy AllStar lineup will see the gypsies joining forces with local Indian musicians to add an exciting fusion sound of Gipsy Kings’ favorites and exotic-blended of Indo-gypsy music and see the gypsies return to India for the Discovery Channel special ‘Return to Rajasthan’.

In preparation for the return to India in 2013, Leonardi and Mario Reyes are now preparing new material and re-imagine the existing music, working with the cream of LA based musicians to bring the new project alive.

Included in the Gypsy Allstars project are Cuban virtuoso bassist Carlitos de Puerto, Zakir Hussein tabla prodigy Salar Nader and one of the world’s greatest flamenco performers Manuel Gutierrez. Indian songbird Mala Ganguly joins Mario Reyes on vocals and Alam Khan, son of the great Ali Akbar Khan, is featured on sarod. According to sources, Sundance Grand Jury prize nominated director Dylan Mohan Gray, whose Irish name betrays his India heritage, will be directing the project making it an all India homage. The “gypsy king” Nicholas himself has been invited to join the pilgrimage as the head of the family.

src: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-13/jaipur/40553515_1_rajasthan-international-folk-festival-gypsies-gipsy-kings

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