Synopsis by Mark Deming
Musicians from different lands but sharing a common heritage come together for a concert tour that proves as revelatory for the participants as their audiences in this documentary. In 2001, American promoters persuaded five noted bands of gypsy musicians to join forces for what was billed as "the Gypsy Caravan Tour," but while these musicians appealed to many of the same fans, for the most part they had never met before going on the road together. The performers were Taraf de Haidouks, an 18-piece group from Romania whose lineup spans several generations; another Romanian group, the 11-piece horn ensemble Fanfare Ciocarlia; Antonio de Pipa's Flamenco Ensemble, which combines both music and dance in their performances; Maharaja, a Northern Indian group featuring musicians from all sides of Indian society; and Esma Redzepova, one of Macedonia's best and most acclaimed vocalists. As the tour wore on, the artists began to interact both musically and socially, and their different takes on gypsy music began to inform one another in new and interesting ways. Filmmaker Jasmine Dellal followed the tour with a camera crew, and When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan offers a look at the music these artists performed on stage as well as their interaction after the shows and on the road; the film also features individual interviews with the musicians back home after the tour was completed.
behind-the-scenes, concert-tours, flamenco, gypsy, India (subcontinent), Macedonia, music-ensemble, musician, on-the-road, Romanian