In almost every large town in France, what the agents of repression once called "the dangerous classes" now live on the outskirts, in suburbs that are of no interest to the media unless they are suddenly set ablaze.
Perpignan is an exception. Here, the poor live right in the heart of town, immigrants from every point in the southern hemisphere and Gypsies who travel the world according to their own particular whims.
It was here, in the very centre of the Saint Jacques area of town, that the members of Kaloomé first met each other in 2001 to start a project blending music and dance.
The soul of the Catalan gypsies remains in rumba gitana. Lively, characteristic and captivating, like natural breathing it is practiced every day, not just during the sacred occasions or special family events and weddings which regularly gather the whole Gypsy community.
Above all, the music is a family affair. Antoine "Tato" Garcia spent his childhood in the family world of vocalists and very young developed a passion for the guitar. With his powerful and warm voice he joined the Tekameli ensemble in 1994, and recorded "ida y vuelta" CD (Sony). Together with the vocalist and shining dancer Sabrina Romero, he took part in all the band's national and international tours. The change occurred with the creation of his own ensemble - Kaloome -'kalo' : gypsy, and 'ome': the depth of the soul.
Following the first album ("Sin Fronteras", 2004) the group has now discovered its own implacable logic. Beside Tato and Sabrina Romero (vocals, dance, cajon), Guillaume Bouthié (double bass), Madjid Benyagoub (vocals, derbouka), Chris Mailhe (guitar, vocals, percussion) and Caroline Bourgenot (violin) rekindle the flames of the rumba catalan, which is tougher and less dramatic than Andalusian flamenco but which has nevertheless had its stars including Péret, the Gypsy Kings and the legendary Pata Negra. Together with the heroes of Gypsy Brass, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Kaloome created the show of The Gypsy Queens and KingsT and performed together with Esma Redzepova, Lilijana Buttler, Jony Iliev and many more the most important concert stages of the world.
The new CD of Kaloome "De otro color" will be released on Naïve in March 2009.
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