- Kalamazoo, MI
Dr. Lonnie Smith says "I love Occidental Gypsy’s new CD 44070. The compositions and arrangements are uniquely creative. They perform with enormous heart and soul and have an original groove that is definitely worth checking out."
“Occidental Gypsy is a crowd pleaser. Jaunty vocals, lots of swing, and evocative violin and guitar interplay make this an act to catch and enjoy. They were a big hit at Djangofest Mill Valley ’15.” – Nicholas Lehr, Executive Promoter of Djangofest
Chicago Tribune Jazz Critic Howard Reich: “sonic pleasures to be had, particularly in an energetic, gypsy-jazz transformation of Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” which opened the evening. More than once, vocalist-guitarist Frantz brought the large crowd to near silence through the warmth and openness of his singing, as in “Georgia on My Mind.” read full review
Occidental Gypsy delivers an exhilarating blend of gypsy swing, jazz and world music with a rousing acoustic sound.
Nationally recognized Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces along with many notable covers like a “gypsyfied” take of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
The Boston Globe has named them a “Best Bet for Weekend Entertainment,” and musician David Bromberg said of the group, “great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.”
Occidental Gypsy’s sound appeals to a wide spectrum of listeners, and their shows consistently draw enthusiastic audiences at colleges, arts centers, festivals and clubs.
The band has found a powerfully seismic acoustic sound as they play a dynamic mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces--and a few memorable standards-- to exhilarated crowds. Occidental Gypsy's music cannot be easily classified; a bit of jazz, a catchy strain of pop, and "a whole lotta’ gypsified swing…"
Occidental Gypsy features award-winning violin prodigy Eli Bishop who has played with Wynton Marsalis and Bill Evans of the Miles Davis Group, and still plays at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Occidental Gypsy has played to solid and sold out crowds at the legendary Nighttown in Cleveland, Old Town School of Folk Music and The Green Mill in Chicago, the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, the Ark in Ann Arbor Michigan and The Triple Door in Seattle, among many others.
The band has shared the stage with such greats as Rikki Lee Jones, Jorma Kaukenen, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, and David Bromberg, among others and the band recently played to a sold out show at the 2015 DjangoFest in Mill Valley, California-- a prestigious homage to Gypsy Swing master Django Reinhardt.
Downloadable Press Assets: www.occidentalgypsy.com/press
Jazz | World Music/Traditional | Blues
World Gypsy act brings energetic, string-busting swing to Kalamazoo
East Coast band Occidental Gypsy is rolling out new sounds and hot world-gypsy jazz for a July 25th performance with Fontana Chamber Arts Festival in Kalamazooo. This nationally touring outfit redefines gypsy swing, as they vibrantly deliver Django Reinhardt classics and treat the listener to innovative original music too.
RECENT PRESS, JUNE 2015: Review by Don Heckman of the L.A. Times: “… the hard swinging similarities between the Occidental Gypsy togetherness and the classic Hot Club interaction between guitarist Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli… results were irresistible, a virtual definition of an era when jazz was often described as “hot” music. Occidental Gypsy’s rhythm section, usually driven by the surging rhythm guitar of Brett Feldman, hit one irresistible rhythmic groove after another, “hot” was the best applicable adjective.” -read full review
Occidental Gypsy delivers an exhilarating blend of gypsy swing, jazz and world music with a riff-rich acoustic sound and sultry vocals reminiscent of the first era of swing.
Nationally recognized Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces and with many notable covers like a “gypsyfied” take on Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The Boston Globe has named them a “Best Bet for Weekend Entertainment,” and musician David Bromberg said of the group, “great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.”
Occidental Gypsy is pioneering the sound of world Gypsy music. Their mélange of uptempo, high-energy rhythms of gypsy swing, melded with catchy melodic hooks and the complex structures of jazz, delivers a thrilling auditory experience to listeners.
Well known as capable heirs of Django Reinhardt, Occidental Gypsy is invited to play the 2015 DjangoFest in Mill Valley, California. The band has sold out legendary venues such as Nighttown in Cleveland, offered concerts and workshops at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Blue Wisp in Cincinnati among many other notable venues in over 25 states. The band has shared the stage with such greats as Rikki Lee Jones, Jorma Kaukenen, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, Tony Rice, and David Bromberg. Band members have also participated in side projects that have brought them around the world alongside legends.
After completing his recent tour with Wynton Marsalis, Occidental’s violinist Eli Bishop rouses audiences with his award-winning lightning-fast violin, while lead guitarist Brett Feldman drives the sound with swinging gypsy guitar. Jeremy Frantz— a protege of legendary jazz guitarist Joe Negri— brings his sultry, “retro” vocals and expert jazz guitar to the front line, and serves as an exquisite counterpoint to the down-and-dirty driving sound brought by Brett. Guatemalan percussionist Erick “Banny” Cifuentes and bassist Jeff Feldman fill out the band’s rich sound and keep feet stomping with beats and complex rhythms that make their audiences keep coming back for more.
Band Website: www.occidentalgypsy.com
|Doors Open:||Music Festival|
|Concert Start Time:||7:30PM|
|Venue:||Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex|
|Venue St. Address:||1903 W Michigan Ave|
|Venue City, State:||Kalamazoo, MI|
|Venue Link:||Click here|
|Ticket Price(s):||$35 for individual show, or buy day pass for 5 concerts|
|Ticket Phone:||Box Office: (269) 382-7774|
|Ticket URL:||Click here|
|Event Notes:||Festival. Get 5 concerts for $130 or individual shows for $35|