Jands Vista for the Gypsy Kings

Monday, 19 September 2011
Jands Vista for the Gypsy KingsThe venues on the last tour were a mix of sheds and theatres, with capacities of around 3,000
USA - The Gypsy Kings - credited with helping to bring the distinct sound and style of Rumba Catalana pop music to worldwide audiences - have just finished their latest US tour, with lighting designer Michael Sharon using his own Jands Vista I3 console for control.

Sharon, based on the US West Coast, is an independent lighting designer with a wide variety of clients. In addition to four years of designing for the Gypsy Kings, he has also designed a wide range of corporate shows for many different clients.

He first used a Jands Vista, on this occasion a T2, when he originally started working for the Gypsy Kings. This was provided by the lighting contractor at the time, PSI Production Services in Denver. He completely "fell in love" with the console and decided to purchase his own Vista I3 from Jands US distributor A.C. Lighting Inc. so that he never had to go back to using another type of console.

To cope with the everyday demands of touring, Vista's powerful generic fixture model provides quick, straightforward and accurate fixture swapping to adapt Michael's show to fit whatever type of lights he is faced with. This proves a perfect solution when the tour picks up local production, as opposed to using their own lighting rig, and ensures that he always has his show running on his console of choice.

The last Gypsy Kings tour lasted nearly four weeks, and they generally do about three US tours a year. The venues on the last tour were a mix of sheds and theatres, with capacities of around 3,000.

A typical local lighting rig, on which Sharon would run his show from his Vista I3, would contain around 120 PARs and between 10 and 25 moving lights of different types. This would often be supplemented by a "specials package". At the iconic Radio City in New York, he used Chroma-Q Color Force 72 RGBA LED battens to highlight some soft goods hired in for the show, and again at the Filene Centre in Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, to up-light custom scenic columns.

"I love the way a single fixture can illuminate a 30ft high surface, with a great colour range and still have plenty of punch," he comments on the Chroma-Q Color Force fixtures, a brand also distributed by A.C Lighting Inc. "and the Vista really lets me get the most from them."

Fred Mikeska, VP of sales and marketing at AC Lighting Inc comments, "Michael is just one example of a designer who took a look at the Jands Vista and has never looked back. The Vista, and the next generation Vista v2 software, really does offer the perfect balance between the power to control your show accurately, with the simplicity to work fast. If you haven't seen Vista v2 yet, you really should take a look and see what you are missing out on."

(Jim Evans)


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