The Gipsy Kings

Spanish Vocalists and Guitarists
1978-Present • Flamenco and Rumba

Fast Facts

  • The band was made up of two families: the Reyes brothers and their cousins from the Baliardo family. Fathers from both families were flamenco musicians
  • Their parents were gitanos – Spanish gypsies who fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s
  • The band performs their music in a dialect similar to Andalusian Spanish
  • Originally went by “Los Reyes” and performed at weddings, on the streets and at festivals
  • Collaborated with former musician of the month, Joan Baez
  • Changed their style from traditional flamenco to include influences from Middle Eastern, North African, Latin and even rock music, which gave them wide appeal worldwide
  • Like last year’s MOTM, Elizabeth Cotten, two of the youngest Reyes brothers learned to play their guitars upside down due to having to use their older brothers’ guitars despite being left-handed.
  • Have won a Grammy for Best World Music Album
  • The group uses a clapping technique called “palmas”, where one claps on the upbeat and one on the downbeat, but can be hard to learn.

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