¡Baila Me!

When the Gipsy Kings command you to dance, you dance.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you can dance. You dance anyway. You shake the maracas the Good Lord gave ya, and you have a good time doing it.

After many years of yearning to see the Gipsy Kings live, last weekend, I finally got my chance.

I got tickets back in April. I jumped on line the very second they went on sale and my diligence paid off. I scored two tickets second row center.

I knew it was going to be a good show. I had no idea it was going to be one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen.

The music of the Gipsy Kings is beautiful, traditional gitano music, played by brothers. The men, from two different families, were born in France, children of gitanos who fled during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930’s.

What I mean to say is…they are the real deal.

Their music moves me in ways I can’t understand.

Best not to even try to understand.

Three songs into the night, Patchai Reyes commanded us to dance.

And the people in the venue rose to their feet, and we danced.

Even The Good Man who doesn’t dance got up and danced. It was useless to resist.

At the beginning of the show, six men walked out with matching nylon strung acoustic guitars (four of them played upside down by left handers), hit a couple tune up notes and they were off to the races. I was struck by the blinding fast guitar work.

As the venue allowed photography, I tried to capture even a tiny bit of what we experienced that night. I found I was too enchanted by the music and didn’t actually take a lot of photos.

But here is a photo of Andre Reyes that gives you a small idea. I used as long an exposure as I dared to capture the movement of his hands. (Click to see a larger size)

My mother tells me that somewhere in the murky waters of my genetic past, we are what she calls “French gipsy”.

I understand that to be a true Gitano, you must be Gitano on all four sides…meaning, all four of your grandparents must be full-blooded Gitano. I’m not fully Gitano on any sides, but the rhythm resides somewhere in my strands of DNA.

On warm summer Saturday night in an outdoor mountain venue, the Gipsy Kings plucked the strings to my soul.

And I danced.

Oh, did I dance…

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