‘Flemenco’ music brought to Sonoma State

Twenty-five years ago, the Gipsy Kings captured the hearts of many with their self-titled debut album that was certified gold and platinum around the globe. Creative and brilliant, the Gipsy Kings introduced millions of listeners to a unique blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms. 

Overall, the charisma of the band was festive and cheerful, as they played for two hours. Their set list for the night included “Ati Ati”, “Yo Canto A Brazil”, “Amor Amor”, “Samba Samba” and many others that kept the crowd satisfied one way or another. 

The playful Latin rhythms echoed through the hall and far across the field. A large bright screen gave even the furthest viewers a front row seat to the show. 

Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center had the honor and pleasure to have the Gypsy Kings perform in Weill Hall, with tickets being free for students. Jessica Anderson, the Associate Director of Communications said that the Green Music Center had been in planning and construction for 15 years. 

“The Green Music Center is a real game changer for the University,” said Anderson. 

With SSU students receiving free tickets for select shows, rush ticket sales—which are $5—and 50 percent off for all students, it’s no wonder that the people involved in the Green Music Center are enthusiastic to have it be recognized. Outside the lobby was the lawn from which attendees were able to watch the Spanish-pop band. There were people surrounding in all directions—a broad demographic of all walks of life— together, enjoying something that made them feel. 

There were people on multiple areas of the grass, cocooned in blankets, sitting on the ground or a chair brought from home, snuggling their loved ones and smiling. There were people sitting in fancy chairs with white tablecloths that each had a different colored flower placed as a centerpiece. There were people seated in balcony seating overlooking the stage where the Gipsy Kings performed, tapping their feet or moving their heads, all smiling. It didn’t matter where you were sitting or why you were there, what mattered was just the moment.

The people who danced were very entertaining. Men and women of all ages and races were dancing every style of dance imaginable. Whether the song lyrics were understood by many or few, all that mattered was the power behind the feeling the music provoked inside. 

“It’s all about how you feel. I don’t know what the songs are, or what they mean, but it’s what’s inside,” said a random man from the crowd, as he picked up his beer, closed his eyes and let the music take him over.

It didn’t matter if you knew every Gipsy Kings song or not, because watching people come together to enjoy something bigger than themselves was a delight to see. The passion through the movements of dance, the attentive listeners, the laughter and small talk between friends/family, all the cozy cuddling and endless smiles gave a wholesome feeling. 

Complete strangers, all together as one, feeling their own feelings and expressing themselves differently, letting the music move them in one way or another and bringing them all down to earth.