In the north-eastern region of Romania in a small isolated Romany village called Zece Prajini, (population around 80), the tradition of the Gypsy brass band has continued unchecked since the days of the Ottoman Empire, even as it died out across the rest of country. From these humble beginnings, the village band, Fanfare Ciocarlia (translated as Lark’s Song), has stormed onto stages and movie screens around the world, winning over punks and headbangers, jazz and funk fans, world music aficionados, classical connoisseurs, and those who simply love music that sounds absolutely unique. Fanfare Ciocarlia’s chart-topping recordings have taken their eerie Balkan groove into dance clubs across the planet, and have been sampled and covered, championed and emulated by countless DJs, bands and Gypsy orchestras. Most famously, they are the brass band playing Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild in the movie Borat.
Fanfare Ciocarlia’s fast and furious approach leaves one breathless and reeling, but ‘the hardest working band in the blow biz’ is more than just loud and brassy. They have the innate musical intelligence to adapt their playing to almost any style and genre of music. And this versatility makes them the perfect partner for Guelph, Ontario guitarist Adrian Raso, who is equally versatile. Fanfare Ciocarlia and Adrian Raso first found one another in 2013 at Toronto’s Metal Works Studio, where they proceeded to produce an album during a series of nighttime recording sessions. Since its spring 2014 release, Devil’s Tale has been an international sensation. Adrian Raso’s background in Western music, especially Latin and Gypsy Swing, and Fanfare Ciocarlia's unmistakable Balkan vibe complement each other brilliantly to concoct hearty Rock’n’Roll, persistent swamp grooves and nostalgic 1930s swing, very much in the spirit of Django Reinhardt. On Devil’s Tale, the guitar holds the reins while the tuba and trumpets lead the way.
Fanfare Ciocarlia’s amazing journey continues with the new album Onward to Mars! The UK’s Evening Standard put it this way, “...the best party animal on the planet...the energy goes round in a figure of eight - out from the band into the audience who are jumping, waving, snogging and back into the band who drive it to further frenzy.” Fanfare Ciocarlia is on the cover of the July issue of Songlines (UK) declaring "Romanian brass band blast off!"and inside is a feature article titled "A Life with Flowers" - celebrating the 20th anniversary of this amazing band.