• Garden Stage
    Wednesday 17•July•2024

It's safe to say that Rumbaristas are an international super-group. The Catalan singer/guitarist Willy Fuego, the French-Sicilian trumpet/keyboard player Thomas Morzewski and the Belgian duo Think of One - bassist Tomas De Smet and drummer Roel Poriau, of Laïs fame, Zita Swoon, Antwerp Gipsy Ska Orchestra - joined forces around five years ago to create an intense mix of both Southern and Central European music. How about a Sicilian tarantella, a touch of Colombian cumbia, a little ska here and there and some Balkan and, of course, the Cuban rumba? Versatile and innovative! They stood out immediately; their bright, eye-catching début album was played on Radio 1 and they performed at major world music festivals at home and abroad.


At the start of 2020, the Rumbaristas were on a high. But we all know what happened then. The world closed down and live performances were rare and complicated. However, Rumbaristas continued to meet one another in the studio during the 'corona’ sessions. These resulted in 'No Llores’ a quirky cover of Don’t Cry Sister by JJ Cale, in duet with Laïs, which became a modest hit in Belgium in 2021. All these sessions led to a new album, released last year, called 'Malabares’ which was produced by American/Mexican Sergio Mendoza (of Calexico fame) along with Madjid Fahem (of Manu Chao fame). 'Malabres' means 'jugglers' and illustrates how frivolously Rumbaristas weave their musical and textual influences and styles into a sound all of their own. Live, these four jugglers blend their experience, knowledge, virtuosity and the mix of styles to create a huge party!