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Viorica & Ionitsa - Clejani Express

Viorica & Ionitsa - Clejani Express / A DevlaViorica & Ionitsa - Clejani Express / A Devla

A Devla

Although quite unspectacular, indeed unremarkable, the gypsy village of Clejani in southern Romania nevertheless became a myth: as the birthplace and home of generations of wonderful musicians. Taraf de Haïdouks, who have toured the world with enormous success, are also from here.

And it was from Clejani that one of the musicians and arranger of that group, Ionitsa, set out for the big city of Bucharest, along with the singer Viorica and several other musicians. They formed the great group Clejani Express: brilliant wind instruments, virtuoso violins, cymbalon, accordion, percussion, and in the middle, the ardent voice of Viorica.

This ‘wild gang’ created an urban sound that had scarcely existed in gypsy music until then. Powerfully ecstatic dance pieces run into elegiac ballades with magic spells and sacred chants. While the internationally successful gypsy groups Taraf de Haïdouks and Fanfare Ciocǎrlia toured the world for a decade before giving their first performances in Bucharest, it was the reverse with Viorica & Ionitsa: they and their group Clejani Express meantime have cult status in Romania, inspiring their audiences during performances, giving guest appearances on television and being awarded a Golden Disc.

Network is now presenting an international world premiere, “A Devla”, a portrait of this group with both highlights from recent years and some brand new recordings.

When Christian Scholze opened his ‘lucky bag’ on his return from Romania, all he could exclaim say was, “It's just sensational, the urban sound that organically emerged from tradition!”

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