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Amongst the global entertainment on offer at this year’s Brecon Jazz festival (August 7-9 is the passionate and energetic Gipsy Jazz from one of the world’s finest live exponents – Taraf de Haïdouks, a group of Gypsy “Lautari” (traditional musicians) who hail from the little Romanian village of Clejani.

Taraf de Haïdouks (translates as orchestra of honourable brigands) play the festival’s Theatr Brycheiniog on the Saturday night, with a terrific reputation for their live shows of riotous Romanian folk from the self-styled world’s greatest gypsy group, whose fans include the late Yehudi Menuhin, fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto and actor Johnny Depp, who they appeared with in the film The Man Who Cried.

The band comprises a dozen brilliant instrumentalists and singers covering three generations, with ages ranging from 20 to 80, and a repertoire that includes medieval ballads, Turkish-flavoured dance tunes from the Balkans, and characteristic vocal inflections which are reminiscent of the Gypsy people’s origins in the Indian sub-continent. Their warmth, eccentricity and sheer love of their music has seen them grace the stages of Montreux, and Womad.

Brecon Jazz operator Orchard holds the reins for its fourth year. Director Pablo Janczur said: “We’ve gone for quite a broad international programme this year at Brecon to reflect the music’s global appeal, and that’s epitomised in Taraf de Haïdouks who have been hugely popular in western Europe since the 1990s, and are considered the epitome of Romany music’s vitality.”

Brecon Jazz 2015 features big name American headliners such as Dr. John and Robert Glasper, exclusive performances, intriguing crossovers and global artists from Scandinavia through Romania, Brittany and Catalonia to Brazil. New for 2015 is an additional venue, Brecon Elim Church, with a 200 capacity and a pedigree in staging concerts of its own, where the Western Power Kid Zone will engage local children in making music.

Plus there will be a Brecon Jam late night opportunity on Saturday for musicians to unwind and show off their improv skills, with an all-star festival house band featuring Iain Ballamy and Brecon artist-in-residence Huw Warren.

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