Favorite

Haïdouks Live! 

Gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks brings authentic Romany music to the Tucson stage.

Until just a few years ago, an aficionado of authentic Gypsy music had to rely on more or less underground sources to get the good stuff--contraband cassette tapes smuggled out of places like Moldava and Slovakia, odd shortwave broadcasts out of the Balkans, bootlegs of the Gypsy Kings in their pre-prefab days, before their manager had the bright idea that they'd sell a lot more records by covering Paul Anka and Domenico Modugno.

With the rusting away of the Iron Curtain and the growing interest in world roots music generally, it's a lot easier to lay your hands on good, unsweetened Gypsy music of the kind that figures in the ear-opening films of Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies, Black Cat, White Cat) and Tony Gatlif (Gadjo Dilo, Latcho Drom). That last film, which did much to introduce world audiences to Gypsy music, gave prominent play to the Romanian ensemble Taraf de Haïdouks ("Band of Brigands"), which now tours Europe frequently but makes only occasional appearances farther from home.

The 12-man group, which hails from a village near Bucharest, spins up a whirlwind of spirited dance music, marked by explosive polyrhythmic drumming, scratchy fiddling and soulful singing over a backdrop of accordions and dulcimers, all of it sounding something like a cross of bluegrass and klezmer music. With a repertoire that ranges from ballads--some of them, as with their "Balada Conducatorolui" ("Ballad of the Dictator"), explicitly political--to breathtaking workouts like "Hora ca la ursari" ("The Bear-Leader's Circle Dance"), the ensemble has become a staple of world-music radio, and their 1999 U.S. debut disc, Taraf de Haïdouks, continues to enjoy strong sales.

It doesn't get any more authentic, and Tucson audiences will have the rare privilege of seeing these Gypsy masters in action thanks to local promoter Don Gest, who has been responsible for bringing so many first-rate international acts out our way.





Taraf de Haïdouks will appear on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Community Center Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets for reserved seats, at $20 ($18 for seniors and In Concert! members), are available at Hear's Music (2508 N. Campbell Ave.), Antigone Books (411 N. Fourth Ave.) and The Folk Shop (2525 N. Campbell Ave.), or by phone through In Concert! at 327-4809.

More by Gregory McNamee

  • Rock Star

    Tucson-Based Meteorite Hunter Geoff Notkin Is a Man of Parts
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Fly Girl: Katie Haverly

    Katie Haverly explores the illusion of freedom with the release of solo album The Aviary
    • Dec 3, 2015
  • Noise Annoys

    Matos gets lonely; Parker shows ‘Fangs’
    • Mar 2, 2017

The Range

Quick Bites: 1912 Turns Two

Quick Bites: Wasting Away Again

More »

Latest in Music Feature

Most Commented On

  • Don't Forget the Coop

    Interview with Alice Cooper
    • Jun 15, 2017
  • Battle Acts: Sgt. Pepper Then vs. Sgt. Pepper Now

    We have no Summer of Love to ponder, no Vietnam War to protest, no miracle drug that's going to save us. But we do have an unpopular president and Sgt. Pepper to marvel over all over again. It's not the same, but it kinda is, and that's about the best splendid time that can be guaranteed for all in 2017.
    • Jun 8, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation