13 November 2015
Concert starts at 8:00 pm
Occidental Gypsy — Eli Bishop – violin, Jeff Feldman – bass, Jeremy Frantz – vocals & guitar, Erick Cifuentes – percussion and Brett Feldman – lead guitar — plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy swing, jazz and world music that enraptures the listener with a lightning fast, complex acoustic sound, rounded by sultry smooth vocals reminiscent of the first era of swing.
This nationally recognized band plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces as well as 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.”
Well known as capable heirs and nouveau pioneers of the music of Django Reinhardt, Occidental Gypsy is to be featured at the 2015 DjangoFest in Mill Valley, California. The band has sold out legendary venues such as Nighttown in Cleveland, and played the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Ark in Ann Arbor, The Triple Door in Seattle and many other notable spots in over 27 states. The band has shared the stage with greats like 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, like the 24 year old Eli Bishop who has played with Wynton Marsalis, and regularly performs at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The band features Eli Bishop, a Nashville prodigy who recently won 1st Place in the Mississippi Fiddle Championships, who stuns crowds regularly with his lightning-fast, passionate violin. Lead guitarist and composer Brett Feldman drives the sound with masterful gypsy swing 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 crowds moving with beats and complex rhythms that make their 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 clubs. Their fans include musicians who enjoy the sophisticated compositions and masterful play, but most folks just come to enjoy the music and dance. The band has found a unique beat and brings to every show 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, a seismic swing experience, and “a whole lotta’ gypsified groove. . . .”
- 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 Northwest Whidbey Island and Mill Valley California
- 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. Don Heckman, L.A. Times (June 2015)
- As it journeys from venue to venue throughout the United States, Occidental Gypsy, a red-hot, Django Reinhardt-inspired, gypsy swing and fusion band, loves to encourage rapt listeners to get up on their feet and dance to its classically retro yet forever young sounds. Hartford Courant, February 2015