It has been twenty-five years since the Gipsy Kings captured the world’s imagination with their self-titled debut album—a record that became a genuine phenomenon, certified gold and platinum around the globe, introducing millions of listeners to a unique, irresistible blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms. Since then, the band has toured virtually non-stop, to the farthest-flung corners of the planet, and sold almost twenty million albums, all the while retaining the same line-up of virtuoso musicians.
Now the Gipsy Kings return with SAVOR FLAMENCO, their ninth studio album and first new release in six years. The project marks the first time in their storied career that the Kings have produced themselves and written all of the material. It also starts a relationship between France’s most successful musical group of all time and a new label, Knitting Factory Records.
The group has been fronted for 25 years by the two songwriters and producers Nicolas Reyes and Tonnino Baliardo. The father of Nicolas, Jose Reyes, formed a celebrated flamenco duo with Manitas de Plata which counted the likes of Miles Davis and Pablo Picasso among its fans. When the pair parted ways, Reyes became even more popular after starting his own band, backed up by his sons and called Los Reyes.
When the senior Reyes passed away in 1979, Nicolas and Tonnino began playing together in the Southern French town of Arles. They traveled throughout the country, busking on the streets of Cannes, playing wherever they could—weddings, parties, festivals. Having adopted the perpetual motion of the gypsy lifestyle, they eventually translated “Los Reyes” and changed their name to the Gipsy Kings.