History of Rumba Catalana
16. Catalan Rumba in France Today
In France the Catalan Rumba Resounds
The French Gypsies always remained closer to the roots, and there’s plenty of new blood
A year after becoming known with his Gypsy rumba cover of “Bella” from the Congolese rapper Maître Gims, Kendji Girac won season 3 of The Voice in 2014 and soon enough became the best-selling French artist, collaborating with international artists such as Ariana Grande.
Yvan Le Bolloc’h,, actor and TV host, has converted to the Gypsy rumba. The Reyes family does not let down their guard and the Gipsy Kings are still rolling, while Chico & the Gypsies are touring the world. As for the French-Spanish Manuel Malou, who in 1976 had his first success beyond the Pyrenees at the age of 15, within Los Golfos, with “Que pasa contigo,tio“, he produces, he composes, he tries ZoukRumbaggeton, ElectroRumbaWorld, rumba punk rock with El Coleta, and tours with the UrbanRumband cuarteto. Toby Hack, alias Tobito, has been rolling his hump, from Australia, his native land (former solo guitarist of La Rumba), to Lyon, for 13 years, passing through Jerez. Well-known musician, here he is with a new project of instrumental rumbas.
Let’s also mention Mr Tchavo, a seasoned rumbero composer, a band leader with Noche Gitanos, and a teacher teaching thousands, thanks to the most complete YouTube channel on Gipsy rumba guitar techniques.
The Gypsies of Perpignan, the capital of French Catalonia, happily perpetuate the tradition of the festive Catalan rumba. Tekameli, a renowned musical family, with a repertoire integrating sacred songs and Catalan rumbas, continues its beautiful adventure which started in the ’90s. Let’s also mention Sabor de Perpinya, Rumberos Catalans, Rumba Coumo and Antoine Tato Garcia, sound explorer, incorporating Catalan rumba, Cuban sound and Mediterranean jazz, without forgetting the Gypsy family Adel and their band Fraïda, mixing in a unique style swing and rumba.
Tony Patrac, representative of the Gypsy community of Agde, is very involved in a process of valorization and integration of the Gypsy culture which should put the Catalan rumba on the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco.
On a personal note, if you don’t find yourself hooked by his song down below, listening to it in a loop, I don’t know what can ..