Dan Gilgoff’s article on D.C.-area flamenco (“Tap Into America,” 11/10) reports erroneous information when it states that the Gipsy Kings play Cuban rumba. The Gipsy Kings play Spanish, gypsy, or flamenco (take your pick) rumba, which is an entirely different style from Cuban rumbaa fact that actually listening to the two styles would easily verify. Authentic Cuban rumba uses mainly percussion and vocals. The rumbas that the Gipsy Kings (and many, many others, including Paco de Lucia) play are an authentic part of flamenco repertoire, as are bulerías, alegrías, fandangos, et cetera. The word “rumba” is derived from the Spanish verb romper”to break”as might happen if a bunch of Gypsies were partying in your house. Additionally, there is another kind of rhumba (with an h), which is a ballroom dance that was helped into popularity by the Arthur Murray types. Although it is derived from Afro-Cuban rumba, rhumba represents yet a third style.
I could say more on the subject, but I just wanted to correct some of the misapprehensions in the article. (Not to mention the fact that volumes could be written on flamenco music.)
College Park, Md.