Occidental Gypsy

  • Morristown, NJ
  • 02/24/2017
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About

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

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Jazz | World Music/Traditional | Blues

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Brett / Jeff Band Founders
401-741-7283

Red hot gypsy band highlights social justice in innovative gypsy swing style

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 nationally touring acoustic act championed by critics and fans alike. “OG” has played to packed houses at the legendary Nighttown in Cleveland, Green Mill in Chicago, Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis, World Cafe Live, Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Ark in Ann Arbor, the Blue Wisp in Cincinnati and many others. This year, they are invited to play the biggest Django Festival in the US. They've been called "rock stars with acoustic guitars." Don't miss this show.
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Occidental Gypsy has shared the stage with greats like Rikki Lee Jones, Jorma Kaukenen, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, and David Bromberg, who also said, “These guys have great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, and high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.” 

INTRODUCING THEIR NEW CD:

  • Occidental Gypsy’s 2nd full-length album, 44070, was independently released 1/11/2017
  • The band tours nationally and are considered heirs of Django Reinhardt. They’ve played 200+ shows in 30 states. Invited to play largest Django Festival in US this fall.
  • Two of the instrumental songs are about historic events; “Vrba” is about Rudolph Vrba's heroics to escape and save thousands from death in Nazi Germany.
  • “Children’s March” is about a Civil rights event in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Songs are acoustic, and include original instrumental and vocal compositions recognized in musicians circles as modern hot club jazz master works.
  • Two songs are covers of Django Reinhardt favorites.
  • The band has excellent reviews by Chicago Tribune, LA Times and dozens of other papers and musicians.  See www.occidentalgypsy.com/press
  • Brothers Brett and Jeff Feldman founded the Gypsy-fusion band. Sounds founded in world-gypsy-jazz, but incorporate influences of folk, blues, klezmer, and Latin.
  • Band member Eli Bishop, award-winning violinist prodigy who plays Jazz at Lincoln Center, has won a Guinness World Record for fastest clapping (featured in song “Messalina”)

David Bromberg says "... great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band."

LA Times says “…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.”


44070  - Occidental Gypsy's Second Full-length CD (Long Description)

Written, arranged and produced by brothers Brett and Jeff Feldman and Eli Bishop, the songs on the full-length album 44070 go far beyond the band's popular (pop-meets-gypsy cover music) roots. This full-length release shoots complex, vibrant original songs into the music-sphere that are timeless and culturally timely.

Brett Lee Feldman's original compositions carry the mood of the album, and are complemented by tunes made famous by Django Reinhardt, and notable covers like “Over the Rainbow.”  Feldman’s instrumental piece “Children's March” opens with a glockenspiel, and carries forward with prodigy Eli Bishop’s moving violin. The song includes many percussive ‘stops,’ perhaps that reflect Feldman’s feeling about the civil rights action by the same name. Feldman's also cites the writing of this song fueled by his disgust at the Birmingham mayor's brutal actions at the time of the heroic de-segregationist's march. The song, he states, also serves as an apology to the children personally affected.  » » Detailed liner notes & streaming samples are available for each song here.

Title Track VRBA 

“44070: Song for Vrba,” has a multi-part arrangement that explores the story of a real-life hero, Rudolph Vrba. Vrba was able to escape despite numerous obstacles and make his way to Budapest. Instead of going into hiding (which was his safest choice), Vrba went to the Jewish Council and told them of the atrocities he witnessed and the tens of thousands of murders occurring daily. It is estimated that because of his actions, Rudolph Vrba saved as many as 200,000 Hungarians and people the Nazis considered "not fit for life.”

The 5 minute instrumental piece is executed in a supremely tight “hot club, Django-inspired, gypsy fusion” style by a band who has spent the last decade playing to enthusiastic crowds at legendary jazz clubs, art houses and concert venues across the US. The title track was written, and is performed, in two distinct parts. The first part is titled “#44070,”  which was the number tattooed on Vrba's forearm in Auschwitz. While the entire piece is in memoriam to Mr. Vrba, this introductory segment honors all those who had been disfigured and dehumanized during the final solution. The second part of the song picks up the pace... still a bit sad and mysterious, but much faster and with greater instrumentation and verve. This part of the song musically explores the challenges and drama of such a heroic escape.

Having transformed from its early days as a gypsy swing cover band, "OG” still deftly reinvents well-known pieces like “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and Django Reinhardt’s “Tears.” The album includes more of their own pop-influenced, well-traveled tunes. “Gypsy Blues (She’s Back)” features the sultry vocals of Jeremy Frantz, to which The Chicago Tribune said there is "a heartfelt quality and reedy tone of Frantz's singing [that] disarmed listeners," and that "Frantz brought the large crowd to near silence through the warmth and openness of his singing.”

 

Dispatch Details

Event Notes: The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series
Ticket URL: Click here
Ticket Phone: 973-335-9489
Ticket Price(s): $10
Venue Link: Click here
Venue Zip: 07960
Venue City, State: Morristown, NJ
Venue St. Address: 21 Normandy Heights Road
Venue: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
Concert Start Time: 7:30 PM
Doors Open: 7:00 PM
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