Los Desterrados – ‘The Exiles’ – are a London-based sextet who have created their own radical, rousing and rootsy take on the ancient folk music of the Sephardic Jews.
As the Gipsy Kings reinvigorated flamenco and the Gotan Project revitalised tango so Los Desterrados – Los Des to their fans – have brought vibrant new life to the ancient music of the Sephardic Jews. Fusing Spanish Flamenco and the fiery Gypsy melodies of the Balkans and Greece with the rhythms of Morocco and Turkey, Los Desterrados have created a rootsy Mediterranean sound that is wholly their own.
To fully experience Los Desterrados they have to be seen live. Equally at home playing the legendary Marquee club, jazz-haven Pizza on the Park, East London’s former home for cutting edge music the Spitz, the home of the London Symphony Orchestra St Lukes or even Trafalgar Square, all crowds are won over by their exhilarating live shows. Featuring traditional instruments such as the cajón and ‘oud with vocals in Hebrew or Ladino, the language of the Sephardic Jews, the unconventional arrangements and rousing rhythms Los Des wield are heavily influenced by the music they’ve all grown up on as native North Londoners – rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, folk, flamenco, funk and soul.
Los Des’s sound is personified on their second album ‘Tu’, which was released to great critical acclaim in the UK in autumn 2006. Songlines magazine claimed the album was a “curious and confident musical offering” with songs that were “richly textured, vibrant, rhythmically complex and melodically compelling”. The Evening Standard praised the ‘bravado’ in their music, The Wire magazine selected the album as one of it’s top 20 Global CDs of 2006 and tracks from the CD were played on Radio 3’s Late Junction show and on BBC Radio London, Scotland & Northern Ireland.
‘Los Desterrados take the music of the Sephardic Jews, with its strong Latin influences, anddrag it effortlessly into the 21st Century with lashings of Spanish folk and Balkan soul.’ – London Metro
“Ancient Sephardic songs reanimated with flamenco, tango and Gypsy instrumentation’ – Time Out