- Portland, OR
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 band from Boston delivers vibrant acoustic sounds to west coast
Nationally recognized Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces and 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 has sold out legendary venues such as Nighttown in Cleveland, and returns regularly to offer shows and workshops to the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Blue Wisp in Cincinnati and the World Cafe, among others. They have shared the stage with such greats as Rikki Lee Jones, Jorma Kaukenen, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, Tony Rice, and David Bromberg, and band members have participated in side projects that have brought them around the world alongside legends.
Coming off a recent tour with Wynton Marsalis, Occidental’s violinist Eli Bishop rouses audiences with his expert, lightning-fast violin, while lead guitarist Brett Feldman drives the sound with swinging gypsy guitar. Frontman Jonathan Hurley brings an eclectic and cinematic flair to the front of the stage (he has written and arranged film scores, played Italian opera in China and also has supported several country/rock groups hailing from Nashville), which fits perfectly with the band’s latest story-based approach to composition. Guatemalan percussionist Erick “Banny” Cifuentes and bassist Jeff Feldman round out the band’s rich sound and keep feet stomping with danceable rhythms.
EVEN More about the Band…..
Occidental Gypsy is pioneering the sound of World Gypsy music. Their mélange of uptempo, high-energy rhythms of gypsy swing, melded with the catchy melodic hooks of pop and complex structures of jazz delivers a thrilling auditory experience to listeners.
Occidental Gypsy’s sound is appealing to a wide spectrum of people, and their shows consistently attract enthusiastic audiences at colleges, arts centers, festivals and clubs. Their fans include musicians who enjoy the sophisticated compositions and masterful play, yet most folks just come to enjoy the music and dance. The band has found a unique beat and bestows a dynamic mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces– and a few memorable standards– in fun, exhilarating performances. 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 has played in over 24 states including shows at the legendary Nighttown in Cleveland, Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and Blue Wisp in Cincinnati. Occidental Gypsy has shared the stage with such greats as Rikki Lee Jones, Jorma Kaukenen, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, Tony Rice, and David Bromberg, who also said about the band, “these guys have great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, and high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.”
An Occidental Gypsy performance includes so much more than just music. Jon, Eli, Brett, Jeff, and Erick are incredibly energetic and charming entertainers who interact with fans on a personal level, and incorporate audience participation into every show. On stage, the dialog between band members is entertaining, to the delight of the audience. Perhaps this is why the Boston Globe recommends an Occidental Gypsy show as a “Weekend Best Bet.”
When Occidental Gypsy decided to gypsify Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on the band’s debut album. “Over Here,” released in 2011, they were quick to garner critical acclaim, and have continued to gather rave reviews and full houses during active touring. Motif Magazine wrote, “Listeners will surely be all in with Occidental Gypsy’s Over Here,” and defined the band as “a terrific and unpretentious fab four”.
Occidental Gypsy was originally formed by brothers Brett (lead guitar) and Jeff Feldman (bassist) as a straight-ahead Gypsy Jazz Quartet. Through the release of Over Here and the addition of new members, the band has taken on a far more diverse, sophisticated, and eclectic sound. The group is fronted by Berklee-trained Jonathan Hurley, and takes the audience to soaring heights by young prodigy violinist Eli Bishop and percussionist Erick Cifuentes. The band also occasionally taps international talents to join the band on stage like Yuki Nakajima and Jason Anick of the John Jorgenson Quintet.
Live, the band compliments original material with expertly arranged ‘gypsified’ covers. Occidental Gypsy’s unique approach to world, pop, jazz and dance music stems from the influence of Gypsy Swing founders, Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. The members of the group posses a deep knowledge and reverence for the Gypsy style and feel honored to bring their music to the ears of new audiences. And now, with an ever-growing list of performances, and presence online through website and social networking pages, Occidental Gypsy’s fan base is constantly expanding.
Featured violinist Eli Bishop began his musical studies with the violin at the age of three. Over the years he continued his musical education at the Vanderbilt Blair School of Music in Nashville and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. His studies of various musical styles–including Classical, Western Swing, Rock, Country, and Jazz– provided him with the opportunity to perform with a wide variety of musical artists ranging from Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers, to the Wooten brothers, Bill Evans of the Miles Davis Group and Wynton Marsalis. Within the band, Eli showcases his eclectic and masterful technique that has brought him ’round the world with the greats.
The name Occidental Gypsy (Western gypsy) embodies the concept behind Gypsy World fusion. The group has taken the Gypsy sound that originated in Eastern Europe and brought it Over Here to blend it seamlessly with contemporary American music. Interestingly, Gypsy Swing was created by taking American Jazz to the East and blending it with the Gypsy Folk tradition. Now almost a century later Occidental Gypsy brings the music back home.
Jonathan Hurley – vocals & rhythm guitar
Brett Feldman – lead guitar
Eli Bishop – violin
Jeff Feldman – bass
Erick Cifuentes – percussion
Band Website: www.occidentalgypsy.com
|Doors Open:||7:30 PM|
|Concert Start Time:||8:00 PM|
|Venue:||The Old Church|
|Venue St. Address:||1422 S.W. 11th Avenue|
|Venue City, State:||Portland, OR|
|Venue Link:||Click here|
|Ticket Price(s):||Tickets $18 - $20 at the door|
|Ticket Phone:||(503) 222-2031|
|Ticket URL:||Click here|
|Event Notes:||Door 7:30pm - All Ages - Bar with I.D.|