Occidental Gypsy plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy swing, jazz and world music that enraptures the listener with a complex acoustic sound, burnished by smooth vocals reminiscent of the first era of swing. Their second CD “44070” presents compositions inspired by social justice, and lyrical songs both catchy and radio-ready. Can a band play timeless music that speaks to your soul and makes you tap your feet? The answer is “yes” and it is Occidental Gypsy’s latest CD “44070.”
Hailing from New England, Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamic, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces. They are a nationally touring acoustic act championed by critics and fans. “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.
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.”
Band Spotlight: Jeremy Frantz, guitar and vocals
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Jeremy studies extensively with legendary jazz guitarist Joe Negri. His background and performance history includes powerful jazz guitar with sultry and smooth vocals reminiscent of the bygone era of swing. Jeremy is the most recent addition to the band, and brings a straight-ahead jazz sensibility and tight playing that serves as a fantastic counterpoint to the wildly driving gypsy rhythms. More here.
The Boston Globe has named them a “Best Bet for Weekend Entertainment” and 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.”
More about Occidental Gypsy
Brett Feldman: lead guitar, composer, co-arranger
Eli Bishop: all strings, co-arranger
Jeremy Frantz: lead vocals & rhythm guitar
Jeff Feldman: bass
Jon Chapman: percussion
Well known as capable heirs and nouveau pioneers of the music of Django Reinhardt, Occidental Gypsy has been featured the biggest DjangoFests in the US. Band members have also participated in side projects that have brought them around the world alongside legends, like the 25 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. Bishop stuns crowds with his lightning-fast and emotional 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. Percussionist Jon Chapman 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 blues, a seismic swing experience, and “a whole lotta’ gypsified groove…”