Occidental Gypsy

  • Havre de Grace, Maryland
  • 09/13/2019
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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



Brett / Jeff Band Founders

Acoustic quintet pioneers American gypsy jazz, and gives voice to its heroes


Breaking announcement for this event:

Occidental Gypsy, typically a quintet, welcomes additional violinist Derek Pell to their lineup for September 2019. As traditional gypsy acts in Europe often take the stage with several violins, Occidental Gypsy will feature two violins for these special concerts, bringing a sound uniquely different from most American Gypsy Jazz bands.

Two strings hearkens the sounds of a small symphony, summoning to life the spirits of Occidental Gypsy’s original compositions which pay tribute to their heroes such as Paula May,  Messalina, and Rudolph Vrba — a man whose tremendous efforts in the face of darkness bring inspiration to all who hear his story.

Derek Pell has played with the renown Ray Price and John Jorgensen, and occasionally joins OG for special performances.

Internationally acclaimed Occidental Gypsy plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy, jazz and folk music that enraptures the listener with a complex acoustic sound, burnished by smooth vocals reminiscent of the first era of swing. Their pioneering approach to Gypsy music pays homage to Django Reinhardt and expands the genre to include elements of western (Occidental) sounds and rhythms, including blues, Klezmer and Latin. Their original songs are deeply complex and challenging to execute, and are often considered “natural evolutions” of Reinhardt’s sounds were he still alive today. Their energetic shows have garnered them fans among the most discerning musicians, and new gypsy lovers alike. 

Occidental Gypsy will perform new original pieces and classic covers from their latest CD "44070," including two historically-based human rights songs, which feel relevant today.




"one irresistible rhythmic groove after another”
- Don Heckman, LA Times


"sonic pleasures to be had."
- Chicago Tribune


“immaculate musicianship”
- fRoots Magazine, UK

Well known as capable heirs and pioneers of the music of Django Reinhardt, Occidental Gypsy has been featured at some of the largest DjangoFests in the country. The band has played to packed houses at legendary venues such as Nighttown in Cleveland, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Ark in Ann Arbor, The Triple Door in Seattle, The Old Town School of Folk, and The Green Mill in Chicago. Their notable acoustic vigor energizes the room like an electric show, and has earned them the nickname, “rock stars with acoustic guitars.” Band members have also participated in projects that have brought them around the world alongside legends, like the 26 year old Eli Bishop who has played with Wynton Marsalis, and regularly performs at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Bishop, a Nashville prodigy recently won 1st Place in the Mississippi Fiddle Championships, stuns crowds with his lightning-fast violin, and his Guinness World Record-winning fast clapping (featured on song  "Messalina, Lover Lamb”). Lead guitarist and composer Brett Feldman drives the sound with masterful gypsy swing guitar written and shared “by ear” (the traditional gypsy way).  Jeremy Frantz — a protege of legendary jazz guitarist Joe Negri— brings smooth, retro vocals and classic jazz guitar to the front line, and serves as a counterpoint to the driving traditional gypsy sound from Feldman.  Percussionist Jon Chapman and bassist Jeff Feldman complete the band’s sound and keep crowds moving with surprising, international rhythms that make the audience keep coming back for more.

Occidental Gypsy’s sound is appealing to a wide spectrum of people, and their shows consistently attract enthusiastic audiences at colleges, arts centers, festivals, concert halls and jazz clubs. Their fans include musicians who enjoy the sophisticated compositions and masterful play, yet most just come to enjoy the music and dance. The band has found a unique niche and plays dynamic mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces at each show – along with and a few memorable standards and Django Reinhardt songs.  

Occidental Gypsy’s music cannot be easily classified; a bit of jazz, a catchy strain of blues, a seismic swing experience, and “a whole lotta’ gypsified groove…”  


(see all at this link: occidentalgypsyband.com/press/)
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.”


Dr. Lonnie Smith says “I love Occidental Gypsy’s new CD 44070. The compositions and arrangements are creative. They perform with enormous heart and soul and have an original groove that is definitely worth checking out.”


Please contact Occidental Gypsy's publicist if you need a physical CD, download of digital tracks, videos, high resolution photos or tickets: 

Elizabeth Mullen Matteson, EMWeb

phone: 401-855-3428

Dispatch Details

Ticket URL: Click here
Ticket Phone: 443-502-2005
Ticket Price(s): $23/$25
Venue Link: Click here
Venue Zip: 21078
Venue City, State: Havre de Grace, Maryland
Venue St. Address: 121 N. Union Avenue
Venue: Cultural Center at the Opera House
Concert Start Time: 8:00PM
Doors Open: 7:00PM
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