THE GYPSY ALLSTARS "RETURN TO RAJASTHAN" FEAT. BHANWARI DEVI performing the song "KATTE" for BalconyTV.
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PRESENTED BY SHAHANA GOSWAMI
About 1400 years ago the gypsies left Rajasthan, in India, to travel across the world. Many settled in Europe and became known as the Romani, the Gitan and the Ziguena (last year Indian scientist Kumarasamy Thangaraj claimed that, genetically, all gypsies are descendants of the Doms).
In the early 1980s, the Gypsy Kings' rumba emerged out of the South of France when the Reyes and Baliardos families set the world on fire with their original, breathtaking and sensual rhythms and sounds.
Cedric Leonardi grew up with the Gypsy Kings families in Montpellier's La Cite Gently, performing with them as their drummer. Singers and guitarists Mario and Georges Reyes, are from the Gypsy Kings' family and wish to carry on the legacy. Together, and with other musicians, they make up the Gypsy Allstars, that aims to take this musical lineage to the next generation with a new, global, sound.
Now, a project, called 'Return to Rajasthan', that has been nurtured at a discreet Los Angeles venue for a while, aims to take the Gypsies' connection to their Indian roots to another level altogether. The project really took off this October at Jodhpur RIFF (the Rajasthan International Folk Festival).
The idea was to find the finest Rajasthani folk musicians to collaborate with the Gypsy Allstars line-up. "The only way this music will survive is if it is taken 'out of the museum' and mixed with the modern world," says Cedric Leonardi, speaking about Rajasthani folk musicians.
True that. So, for the first time ever, BalconyTV Delhi brings you Cedric Leonardi and Mario and Georges Reyes collaborating with the famous Rajasthani folk singer Bhanwari Devi (from the Bhopa-Bhopi tradition), accompanied by her son Krishan on the harmonium and Kalash on percussion.
Recently emerging at the forefront of the folk tradition, Bhanwari Devi hails from Balara Village, Lakshmangarh (Sikar district in Shekawati). Bhanwari Devi has been singing since the age of 14 years; her uncles taught her to recite the Phad, a spiritual and epic recitation (a spiritual, story-telling form set against the backdrop of its graphic representation, a lengthy scroll painting).
Her repertoire is unusually wide -- including devotional bhajans, recitation of Epics, folk songs and Rajasthani Classical forms -- Maand and Mumal.
A mother of nine children, Bhanwari Devi is now gradually receiving recognition for her amazing deep and powerful voice, for her astounding vocal range and vast repertoire. She has the unique distinction of being the only female folk singer to have performed on invitation at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2011.
Traditionally, she sang with her husband, but after his demise in 2004, her son, Kishan took up music as a profession (as a vocalist and playing the harmonium) during Phad narrations and the two of them started performing together in village community events. Soon, their performances and Bhanwari's voice became widely known and accepted in the entire region.
A regular performer at Jodhpur RIFF and other JVF related festivals, BalconyTV Delhi is proud to premiere this collaboration to the music world. It intends to keeps its eyes on it, and keep you posted.
Gypsy Allstars on Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/GypsyAllstars
CREDITS / SPONSORS
This episode brought to you in partnership with the JodhpurRIFF, one of the world's premier music festivals -http://jodhpurriff.org
JodhpurRIFF on Facebook
JodhpurRIFF on Twitter - @JodhpurRIFF
An Oijo Production
Sound - Kavi Bhansali/Raghav Suthaud
Mix - Raghav Suthaud
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