Mahala Rai Banda — Romanian Folk gets a Balkan Beat

Yesterday we met Taraf de Haïdouks, the best of the best Romanian Romani bands. Mahala Rai Banda, formed by violinist Aurel Ionita who is a related to members of Taraf de Haïdouks, takes the music a step toward international funk. The rollicking Romani ensemble from Bucharest combines violins and accordions and a rousing rhythm section with an army brass band from the village Zece Prajin.