The most known part of Gipsy culture is the music. Many things have been mentioned about the Gipsy music generally but is a fact that it has so many types from folk music to entertaining industry and we can think of jazz or world music too. The average costumers or the experts express their emotions usually similar characterizations when they are listening the Gipsy music. The most frequently used expressions are fiery temperament and wild passion, diabolical virtuosity and exotic sensuality. We can’t know what is correct in this suggestions and what is which the people would like to listen to in it. Otherwise we certainly know that the Gipsy music – just like the Gipsy culture – not so simply. We can learn this perhabs only from the real life of the Gipsies. We are convinsed that beside (or instead of) the mentioned descriptions the Gipsy music and the Gipsy Spirit is soft and gentle, lyrical and shy, fine and elegant, wise and full of honor love, funny and tolerant. Of course we ought to know this other side of the Gipsy culture in order to have more valid picture on it. The „KARAVAN familia” wants to give you some help.
We have formed our repertoire from Gipsy folk music arrangements. We play Gipsy folk songs and tunes with own lyrics from Hungary to Balkans and from Russia to Spain. The most important thing for us during the arranging is that every song and tune let become to our own part with their content, manner and mood. The music of „KARAVAN familia” is an authentic Gipsy music regarding its essence – but it is OUR Gipsy music…
The Karavan familia Gipsy world-music & folk group plays traditional folk music arrangements from the different dialects of their native culture with individual effects and sounds. They have in their performances Gipsy music not only from Hungary, but from the Balkans, Romania, Russia and from Spain – formed to their own style.
The group was formed by István Nagy in 2002. He was born 1969 in Budapest. He tought himself and was influenced by various kinds of folk music and the afro-american blues. When he was 15 he was already performing as a blues-musician. (guitar & blues harmonica)
At the end of the 1980’s he connected to the Hungarian Gipsy folklore movement. In 1989 joined the Romanyi Rota ensemble, with which he worked for 13 years. (He did different arrangements, wrote lyrics in Gipsy/Romani language, and he was one of the main singers of the group, he played guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, tambura and wooden spoons.) As a member of the band he was awarded the Hungarian distinction of „Young Master of Folk Arts” in 1995. He made two CD-s with the mentioned group which are till novadays the most authentic Gipsy folk records. (Romanyi Rota: O cerhariko – 1994 Etnofon; Romanyi Rota: Phiravelman kalyi phuv – 1999 Fonó Records)
Simultaneously he was one of the founded members of the Gipsy band of Romano Kokalo with the famous Gipsy cimbalom player, Kálmán Balogh. The two musicians combined their artistic manner and so Romano Kokalo was converted the most progressive Hungarian Gipsy band in the end of the 1990’s. (Romano Kokalo: Gipsy Colours – 1999 Fonó Records)
In 1998 István Nagy was a guest artist ont he world famous English Transglobal Underground recording „Rejoice, Rejoice”. (vocal, guitar, tambura)
István Nagy’s wife is Ilona Farkas „Ica”, who was born in 1972 at Szatmár County in Hungary. The Gipsy songs, dances and customs of this region are her own heritage. She joined the Romanyi Rota and Romano Kokalo in 1998. (vocal and dance)
The Karavan was formed in 2002 which has been István Nagy’s own new band (with his wife). Their first CD entitled „Gipsy Flamenco” was released by EMI in the end of 2002. There is only one band in Hungary, which has been worked together with the world famous Gipsy artist, Boban Markovic (trumpet player from Serbia), and this band is the Karavan. Boban participated as a guest musician in the Karavan’s CD and in their videoclip. This CD was published more than 15 European and Arabic countries – without changing. This is an individual event in the history of the EMI in Hungary.
The Hungarian Television made a 23 minutes film on the leader of the Karavan at the end of 2003.
In 2004 the group enlarged with the two children of the artist-couple, István is 15 years old (vocal, guitar, wooden spoons, darbouka), Nikolett is 13 (vocal, guitar, darbouka, dance). They have grown up with the music of their parents. As it well-known tradition in the Gipsy culture, the Karavan familia nowadays is an original family folk band.
The Karavan familia wants to popularise and preserve the artistic and human worth of Gipsy culture. Their aim is refreshing Gipsy folk music in Hungary by mixing the traditional and the popular elements in their music.
Karavan familia Gipsy Folk Music Family Group:
István Nagy (leader) - vocal, guitar (el. ac.), tamboura (el. ac.), blues-harp
Nikolett Nagy - vocal, guitar, darbouka, dance
Ilona Farkas - vocal, dance
István Nagy Jr. - vocal, guitar, wooden spoons, water can
Slobodan Wertetić - accordion
Website of the artist:
Artist's Facebook page: