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Occidental Gypsy at the Premier Cabaret Lounge at MusicalFare Theatre
Saturday, April 2 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$35
Occidental Gypsy is a nationally-touring band that plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy jazz and folk music.
David Bromberg says “… great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.”
“…sonic pleasures. More than once, vocalist-guitarist Frantz brought the large crowd to near silence through the warmth and openness of his singing. —CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“…irresistible. 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. —LA TIMES DON HECKMAN
About Occidental Gypsy
Occidental Gypsy is a nationally-touring band that plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy jazz and folk music. Their pioneering approach to traditional hot club jazz music pays homage to Django Reinhardt and expands the genre to include elements of western (Occidental) sounds and rhythms, including blues, Klezmer, and Latin. The music this act writes has been noted as a natural evolution of Reinhardt’s sounds were he still alive today, and the lyrical pieces are burnished by smooth vocals by Jeremy Frantz that are reminiscent of the first era of swing.
Lead guitarist and primary composer Brett Feldman drives the sound with masterful gypsy swing guitar, self-taught as Gypsy musicians traditionally do, “by ear.” His pieces are complicated and often feature varying movements. His songs are challenging to execute even by the most seasoned gypsy jazz artists, and they crafted as emotional renderings of important ideas, even when purely instrumental. Because of this, Occidental Gypsy is well-respected among their peers as capable heirs and nouveau pioneers of the music of Reinhardt, and gypsy jazz on the whole.
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-driving sound brought by Feldman. He is noted for his soulful singing on classic standards like “Over the Rainbow,” garnering reviews from the Chicago Tribune and others. Frantz also hosts a popular YouTube Channel where he plays and sings American standards.
Percussionist Jon Chapman and bassist Jeff Feldman enhance the quintet’s rich sound and keep crowds moving with beats and complex rhythms that make their audience keep coming back for more. Rhythms with roots in Latin music and even Klezmer are well-integrated into these original compositions and support the richness of the music in a way that makes them sound like they could even be “plugged in” (the band is acoustic).
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. Their between set wry banter and personal dynamics only adds to the entertainment. 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…”
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