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Mahala Rai Banda (Romania)

(25.07.2010, 8:30 PM, Main Square)


The most famous musicians in Romania live in two villages. In Clajani – on the south-west from Bucharest – violinists, dulcimerists, bassists, masters of accordion create an unusual group: Taraf de Haidouks. At the Rozstaje/Crossroads Festival he had them in 2003. In Zece Prajini though – we will discover probably the biggest in the world condensation of trumpet/brass players... There have been created the most famous brass band in the world: Fanfare Ciocarlia. They have ruled the Krakow Main Square at the festival in 2001 and, as a brass section of a legandary project Gypsy Queens & Kings, two years ago. Two villages: lost in the dust or ice-bound – depending on the season of the year. Mekka of instrumentalists, a melange of madness and genius.

How to create a Gypsy group in a huge scale? Balkan equivalent of Memphis Horns with a rhytmic section of Muscle Shoals? How to connect soul music standards with power, finese, groove and virtuosity? It's very simple. Collect and mix musicians from Clejani and Zece Prajini!

The history of Mahala Rai Banda starts in late 90's, when Aurel Ionita formed a group Rom Bengale in Bucharest. In the same time initial composition of Mahala Rai Banda have crystalized. Debut album of the band was released in 2004 by Crammed Discs. Second album: „Ghetto Blasters” is considered as one of the most important ethno music albums in recent years, and for many as cult as Buena Vista Social Club or Ali Farka Toure. It was recorded in 2009 in Berlin and Bucharest by Asphalt Tango Records and immediately rated 2nd at the World Music Charts Europe ranking and chosen the best from ten greatest albums of 2009 by the magazine „Songlines”. The group has also a hit song „Mahalageasca”, which was used in Sasha Baron Cohen's movie „Borat”. The music of Mahala Rai Banda is a fusion of Romanian musical traditions, Orient, Catalan rumba, reggae and manele. The band is playing only live. Virtuosity, spontaneity and improvisation.


Band members:

Ionita Aurel, Cantea Cristinel, Cantea Georgel, Mihai Cristinel, Ionita Florinel, Oprica Viorel, Dinu Marian, Zahanagiu Marian, Trifan Andrei, Bosnea Aurel, Manole Nicusor

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