While you were out drinking green beer on South Beach for St. Patrick’s Day, Jalloul “Chico” Bouchikhi was front and center in Doral, of all places, Friday night for the grand opening of CityPlace.
The founder of the legendary Gipsy Kings was excited to be able to perform at the spanking new outdoor mall during a party that included strolling entertainers, a soaring fountain and light show.
Chico was impressed by what he saw in a city which has seen the majority of visitors tourists golfing at Trump National Doral, or travelers flying into Miami International Airport.
“Doral is a beautiful city full of Latin people,” said the man behind such hits as “Bamboleo,” “Un Amor” and “Djobi Djoba.” “It never used to have a downtown area and now they do after 15 years, so that’s great.”
The French-born musician comes to South Florida often.
“I like to go all over Miami and see the different areas as they have progressed and how modern it is. I also like to go on the beach and enjoy everything tropical.”
Favorite memory — beside rocking it out in the South Florida suburbs?
“My daughter was born here, so Miami will always have a special place in my heart,” he said .
Chico, whose favorite songs to play live are “Volare” and “Alabina” — will be staying busy. He joins Gipsy Kings band members Mario Reyes and André Reyes on a world tour called Gipsy United, kicking off April 1 in Slovenia. They’ll swing back in town to play the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht June 14. Tickets: www.gipsykings.com/tour