Ever since their first visit to western Europe back in 1991, Taraf de Haïdouks have been considered as the epitome of Gypsy music's fabulous vitality. They've relentlessly toured all around the globe, have released acclaimed albums and a DVD, and their countless fans include people like the late Yehudi Menuhin, Pina Bausch, Kronos Quartet (with whom they've recorded and performed), actor Johnny Depp (alongside whom they appeared in the film "The Man Who Cried"), fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto (who invited them to be models-cum-musicians for his Paris and Tokyo shows) and many more. Meanwhile, the band members seem to have been relatively unaffected by all this attention, they've retained their sense of humour, and their way of life (they still reside in their modest village of Clejani, in the Valachian countryside).

The Taraf de Haïdouks is a group of Gypsy “Lautari” (traditional musicians) who come from the little Romanian village of Clejani. A dozen brilliant instrumentalists and singers, with ages ranging roughly from 20 to 80, they had never performed outside their region before they were “discovered” by Stéphane Karo & Michel Winter, two young Belgian music fans who fell in love with their music during a trip to Romania in 1990, and who decided to try to share this passion with the rest of the world... Released in 1991, their first album (“Musique des Tsiganes de Roumanie”), introduced Western listeners to the rich musical world of the Romanian Gypsies, which includes medieval ballads, Turkish-flavoured dance tunes from the Balkans, and characteristic vocal inflections which are reminiscent of the Gypsy people’s origins in the Indian sub-continent. 

The album was greeted with enthusiasm by public and media alike. It immediately topped the European World Music Chart, and the Taraf de Haîdouks started touring all over Europe. Their warmth, their eccentricity and their sheer pleasure of playing quickly conquered even the most blasé audiences. They proved to be equally at ease in concert halls, on the stages of major festivals (Montreux,  Womad, Bourges, Roskilde, the Barbican Centre etc.) or during their all-night playing and busking sessions in bars or on the streets...

The band‘s chosen name pays tribute to the Haïdouks, those legendary Robin Hood-like robbers who are the heroes of many medieval ballads which are part of the Taraf ‘s repertoire (as for ‘Taraf’, it simply means ‘orchestra’, thus ‘orchestra of honourable brigands’...) .

The Taraf's line-up has gradually evolved: new musicians and singers joined the band (violonist Costica, double bass player Viorel, vocalist Pasalan, accordionist Marin Manole), Bulgarian clarinet player Filip Simeonov (who was invited for the "Band Of Gypsies" recording and stayed on). Four of the older Taraf members sadly passed away (Ion Manole, Ilie Iorga, Neacsu and Cacurica). And now a 3rd generation of players has started joining the band, as the sons of Caliu, Costica and Viorel -all of them brilliant musicians in their early twenties- have started carrying the torch.

To date, Taraf de Haidouks have recorded and released 6 albums and a DVD/CD.


R.I.P. Ilie Iorga, singer and Taraf de Haidouks mainstay

See that thin little man, standing among all these musicians who brandish their respective instruments and seem to concentrate on adopting the most attractive pose for this group picture.

Band of Gypsies is on the move!

Supporting the release of "Band of Gypsies 2", the Balkan Gypsy supergroup hits the road!

Band of Gypsies: Live in Brussels 12/12!

Sometimes we document history, sometimes we make history.

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TARAF DE HAIDOUKS - Band of Gypsies 2
Band of Gypsies 2
TARAF DE HAIDOUKS - The Continuing Adventures Of
The Continuing Adventures Of
Band Of Gypsies

SOUNDS, Visuals & More

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