One morning in September 1994, shortly after the French musician Jalloul “Chico” Bouchikhi parted ways with the Gipsy Kings, the successful flamenco-pop group he founded, he got an unexpected phone call. On the line was a UNESCO representative who sounded distraught. The United Nation’s cultural organization was organizing a special concert to mark the first anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, in the presence of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat – with the participation of the Gipsy Kings, she said. But now, at the 11th hour and with 24,000 tickets sold, they had been informed that the band had missed the flight to Oslo. Would Bouchikhi agree to appear in their place with his new band, Chico & the Gypsies, and prevent a fiasco?
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