World Music Network is saddened by the news that Romanian musician Tamango passed away earlier this month. The artist was suffering from cardiac problems for many years and endured recurring cerebral attacks. He died following a stroke at the age of 66.
Tamango was the vocalist and spoon-player of The Shukar Collective,a group formed out of younger Romanian artists and the gypsy traditional founders from the band Shukar. Shukar performs ursarimusic, a style originally developed from the practise of bear taming - ursar means 'bear tamer' or 'bear handler'. With this practise left behind a long time ago, Shukar still cherishes the music, using simple instruments such as spoons and wooden barrels to accompany vocals. In The Shukar Collective, younger members contributed their drum and bass beats and other electronic sounds which resulted in the truly remarkable album Urban Gypsy, released on Riverboat Records in 2003. A music video from the album can be seen below. From 2008 onwards, Tamango slowly retreated from the music scene due to ill health.