At it since the late 1970s, Gipsy Kings have brought musical genres like Catalan rumba and flamenca mixed with a bit of pop to a worldwide audience. Spearheaded by Tonino Baliardo and Nicolas Reyes, both born in France to gitanos (or Spanish gypsies as they’re often dubbed), Gipsy Kings have released dozens of albums including numerous Grammy Award nominations and a 2013 win for their album “Savor Flamenco,” which took home a statue for Best World Music Album.
In anticipation of the band’s upcoming performance on Sunday at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, Compass caught up with Baliardo, the band’s lead guitarist and coproducer, to learn a bit more about Gipsy King’s rigorous touring schedule and when to expect new music. Here’s part of that conversation.
Compass: How has the group evolved over the past 25-plus years?
Tonino Baliardo: We have developed much more patience and confidence in what we do and what the process is. We are much more confident in what we like and what our approach is.
Compass: What is life like on the road for Gipsy Kings?
T.B.: Life on the road sounds great, and is most of the time. As we get older, we miss our families more and try to watch our health, which is constantly changing with age. We get to work out all of our new material when we are on the road. It’s such a great place to try new ideas and get feedback. Our fans help us with that.
Compass: Why does the band continue such a rigorous touring schedule at this point in its career?
T.B.: It has always been part of our way — a place for us to connect with the rest of the world. As I said above, performing really gives us a place to try things out.
Compass: What’s the dynamic of the band like? Is it a democracy?
T.B.: Nicolas and I have always been the heart and soul of this band. We have written most of the songs and decide on direction. We have grown with the band along the way.
Compass: Your music encompasses many different cultural sounds. How has the sound and influences changed over the years as you’ve traveled the world?
T.B.: We have embraced each culture and absorbed as much music from those places we’ve travelled in. We are truly blessed to be able to do that.
Compass: “Savor Flamenco” came out in 2014 and was the band’s first release in eight years. It’s also the first time the band produced an album in its entirety and wrote all of the material. Tell me about that.
T.B.: Plain and simple, it was extremely gratifying. We really knew what we wanted to do. We have the patience to work on the idea and the material all the way through until we were happy with it.
Compass: The album also won a Grammy Award for Best New World Music Album. How did that feel?
T.B.: Winning a Grammy was great, but just getting a vote of confidence from your peers was special.
Compass: Are you working on new material? When can fans expect new music from Gipsy Kings?
T.B.: We are. We have a few surprises for 2017, so be on the look out.
Compass: Does winning a Grammy put added pressure on the next album?
T.B.: No it doesn’t. We realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It would be nice to always do better, but in music, we don’t look at awards to show that. We are just happy to create.
An Evening with the Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo is at 7 p.m. Sunday at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A S. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $63.50 for seated pit, $53.50 for level 100 and $43.50 for levels 200 and 300 and obstructed view.