Ionita Aurel






Mahala Rai Banda is a Romani band based in Bucharest (Romania). The band was formed by violinist and composer Aurel Ionita, who originates from a family of Lăutari from the village of Clejani. He is related to several members of Taraf de Haïdouks. The band plays Balkan-influenced music. Instrumentation used by the band includes violins, accordions, and other brass instruments performed by musicians from Zece Prăjini. Their music includes a mixture of traditional Roma music and Balkan-influenced club music (Balkan Beats). Their music is known for its blend of arrangements, traditional elements, and modern approaches.Mahala Rai Banda’s self-titled debut album was recorded in 2004 in Bucharest, Romania. Additional production and mixing were carried out by Shantel and Marcus Darius in Frankfurt, Germany. The mix was done in collaboration with Ionita Aurel (the band’s leader) and Stéphane Karo. The album was released on Crammed Discs in early 2005.Mahala Rai Banda’s second album “Ghetto Blasters” was recorded in 2009 in Berlin, Germany and Bucharest, Romania. The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Henry Ernst and Marc Elsner. The album was released on Asphalt Tango Records, in October 2009.The album climbed to 2nd place in the World Music Charts Europe charts, and was voted amongst the top ten “Best Albums Of The Year 2009” by Songlines (magazine).Ever since the release of their debut album, Mahala Rai Banda’s has performed over 500 concerts in 26 countries.