Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 5 | Gipsy Kings

JUN 5 | 8 PM

Melding deep-heated flamenco, rumba, salsa, and pop to the tune of 14 million albums sold, the Grammy-winning hit-makers behind “Bamboléo” have been making music for more than 30 years. The Gipsy Kings’ music extends through generations and reflects the vibrantly eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos.


GIPSY KINGS FEATURING NICOLAS REYES

Nicolas Reyes has been the leader and co-founder of the Gipsy Kings for well over 30 years. In the past three decades, they have dominated the World Music charts and sold more than 14 million albums worldwide. Their platinum compilation, The Best of the Gipsy Kings (1995), was charting for over a year upon its release and their ninth studio album, Savor Flamenco, was awarded the Grammy for Best World Music Album in 2013.                

This iconic legacy began when Nicolas Reyes’ father, Jose Reyes, formed a celebrated flamenco duo with Manitas de Plata (which boasted fans as famed as Miles Davis and Pablo Picasso). When the pair parted ways, the elder Reyes became even more popular upon starting his own band, backed by his son, called Los Reyes. In later years, Reyes headed out on his own and began playing in the town of Arles in the south of France. He traveled throughout the country, busking on the streets of Saint-Tropez, playing wherever he could. Having adopted the perpetual motion of the gypsy lifestyle, his band eventually translated “Los Reyes” and became the Gipsy Kings.

The band’s music went on to fuse with popular culture. In addition to the accolades above, the traveling Gipsy Kings have played some of the world’s greatest stages, from the Hollywood Bowl to Royal Albert Hall, as well as hitting the big screen. Their rendition of “Hotel California” was included in the film The Big Lebowski and the HBO series Entourage. The 2010 film Toy Story 3 featured a Gipsy Kings version of the movie’s popular, Randy Newman-penned theme, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” The Gipsy Kings recently featured in a Big Lebowski spinoff The Jesus Rolls with Reyes appearing in person with the director and star, John Turturro, for some of the promotion.

As active as this remarkable collective remains, they are also confident in the future of their legacy. “Even though it’s been 30 years, we want to keep on making new music because it’s our life. It’s who we are,” says Reyes. “But I think there will be a time when we pass down the Gipsy Kings to our sons.”

Thirty years is an eternity in pop music but the story of the Gipsy Kings featuring Reyes has the depth to endure. Theirs is a music that extends through generations, to the sounds of their ancestors—Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War—and reflects the vibrantly eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos.

MIKAELA DAVIS

“This record is kind of about writing a record,” Mikaela Davis says. The 26-year-old is home in her native Rochester, New York, reflecting on Delivery (2018), her highly anticipated full-length album, as well as the hard journey the classically trained, defiantly original harpist had to travel to become the writer and performer, she was meant to be.

“A lot of these songs came from feeling stuck and also like people were pulling me in a bunch of different directions,” Davis says. “I wanted to say, ‘just wait for me. I’ll figure it out.’”

Davis’ plea for patience—a little bit sweet, a little bit angry and raw—fed a fierce 10-song collection. A joyride that pulls from rock, ‘70s and ‘80s pop, and funk, Delivery manages to be both daring and comfortable, full of not just risks, but hooks.

Produced by Grammy-winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, David Byrne, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Delivery is a triumphant next chapter. “John tries to find that moment instead of the perfect take,” Davis says. “That made it all sound really special.”

Childhood friends Alex Coté (drums, percussion) and Shane McCarthy (bass) play on the record—already close from years of touring. Recently, Davis’ ensemble became a family affair with the addition of Shane’s older brother, Cian McCarthy on guitar.

Davis’ unconventional path to working songwriter began before high school, growing up in Rochester. With plans to join a symphony, she studied harp performance at Crane School of Music, but halfway through, she decided the traditional harpist’s path wasn’t for her.

Following graduation, Davis moved to Brooklyn, following in the footsteps of artists who’ve come before her. But in the city, she could never quite find her footing. She kept busy, toured, and recorded an album that would eventually be shelved. Feeling confused and alone, she retreated back to Rochester, unsure of her next move.

Then, the last place Davis wanted to be saved her. Rochester’s artistic community embraced her, encouraged by bandmates including Alex Coté and the group Joywave, she hit her stride. Rochester became Davis’ sanctuary.

Delivery benefits from it all. “Now, these songs kind of wonder what I should be doing—it’s me trying to get myself back to why I started writing in the first place,” Davis says. “writing made me feel better and safe when the world around me was falling apart.”

“Just let my songs resonate with you somehow. That would make me so happy.”


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
JUN 12: ANA GABRIEL – LA LUNA DE AMÉRICA | WITH SPECIAL GUEST FLOR DE TOLOACHE

SEP 2-4: STING

SEP 15: CAIFANES


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters