rock gitano pic 1Rock Gitano is a BalkanBeats and gypsy punk DJ from Zurich. He is a member of the Swiss Yenish and spent part of his childhood growing up in the circus. It was back then that he discovered his extraordinary love of music, particularly the music of the Travellers.
Rock Gitano began his career as a DJ at the beginning of the 1990s on the Zurich electro scene. But his passion back then was Balkan/gypsy music. Since this music was still looked down on in the clubs at that time, he could only indulge in his musical passion at the birthday parties of his friends. His sets were so popular, though, that the first bookings in regular clubs were soon to be had.
Since then, Rock Gitano has played in all the trendy clubs and venues in Zurich as well as the rest of Switzerland, and he can look back now on a number of regular gigs abroad. He has already played in Berlin, Munich and London, among other places. In addition to that, he is the tour DJ of American gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello as well as for the Zurich gypsy punk combo Palko!Muski.
Rock Gitano himself says that he takes BalkanBeats beyond the philosophy and tradition of the individual songs and that he wants to take his listeners along with him on a journey through the most diverse styles and emotions. His sets are a colourful, bubbling potpourri of gypsy, punk, ska, disco, rap, klezmer, electro swing, Greek hotstep and drum'n'bass – they certainly know no musical bounds.
He got his DJ name of Rock Gitano at his first regular Balkan music booking by the former organiser Goran Potkonjak, who knew of his background as a Traveller and believed that the only name suitable for him would be Rock Gitano. In Zurich it is often said that Rock Gitano belongs to Balkan parties like the moustache belongs to Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello!
Beginning of 2016, Rock Gitano published his first compilation. The CD compiled and mixed by Rock is titled "Pandemonium Gitano". On the CD are bands like Palko Muski, Boom Pam, Gogol Bordello, Russkaja and many more represented.
Text: Robert Lippuner / Gypsy Music Network
Translation: Jamie Davies


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