Fanfare Ciocarlia

The 24-legged brass beast that is Fanfare Ciocarlia puts a new spin on eastern funk grooves, bringing ancient Balkan gypsy traditions into dance clubs across the planet. The big brass orchestra hails from the hidden village of Zece Prajini, high in the misty north-eastern mountains of Romania, where 80 gypsy farming families live a traditional rural lifestyle. They especially hold dear the Ottoman tradition of brass bands accompanying weddings, funerals and feasts. Henry Ernst, a young German music fan, wandered into the village in 1996 and marveled at this living musical tradition, believing it ripe for world consumption. While the gypsies only spoke their local Romany dialect, audiences immediately understood the tenor of their fierce Balkan funk. Racing at breakneck speed, their ripping rhythms and sweet and sour horns present a sound unique among brass bands – evident in their recording of Born To Be Wild for the movie Borat, to radical reinterpretations of the James Bond Theme and Duke Ellington's Caravan, to the Balkan Brass Battle concerts, where the Romanians face off against a Serbian orchestra. Having learnt their craft at the feet of their fathers and grandfathers, Fanfare Ciocarlia has presented the true spirit of gypsy music through nine albums and more than 1500 concerts across the world.