Mahala Rai Banda is a gypsy band based in Bucharest (Romania). It was formed by violinist and composer Aurel Ionita, who originally comes from a family of Lăutari from the village of Clejani. He is related to several members of Taraf de Haïdouks.
The band plays with an array of styles and genres. Romanian violins & accordions are combined with a brass section consisting of army brass band veterans and musicians from Romania's famous village Zece Prăjini – hometown of Fanfare Ciocărlia and a rocking rhythm section. They effortlessly combine a knack for inventive arrangements with an ability to turn every concert into a wild party.
Their music is positioned right at the crossroads between traditional popular music and club-oriented, so called Balkan Beats. This rich blend of sophisticated arrangements, traditional elements and modern outlook puts them in a unique position among all the current bands.