Occidental Gypsy

  • Akron, OH
  • 10/13/2018
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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

Human rights songs in a gypsy jazz package

Occidental Gypsy's new CD "44070" features several original songs with human rights themes. The title track "Song for Vrba: 44070" references the escape of Rudolf Vrba from a Nazi concentration camp. "Children's March” is about 1963 Birmingham Alabama and the terrible actions taken by Mayor Bull O'Connor against black children. Brett Lee Feldman, composer, says the songs serve as both celebration of freedom, and a musical apology for these dark periods in western history.  

Among these pieces are several other originals with a dance-able feel, including “Gypsy Blues” a story about love gone bad and “Tonight.” Intricate and masterful covers of Django Reinhardt pieces and classic covers round out the CD.


Internationally acclaimed 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 original approach to Gypsy music pays homage to Django Reinhardt and expands the genre to include elements of western (Occidental) sounds, including blues, Klezmer and Latin.    ⇒ BAND ONE SHEET (PDF)


"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 nouveau pioneers of the music of Django Reinhardt, Occidental Gypsy was featured at the DjangoFests in Mill Valley, California and Washington State. The band has packed legendary venues such as Nighttown in Cleveland, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Ark in Ann Arbor, The Triple Door in Seattle and the Old Town School of Folk and The Green Mill in Chicago. Their notable acoustic  vigor fills the room like an electric show, and often encites dancing.
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.
The band features Eli Bishop, a Nashville prodigy who plays with Wyton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has also been awarded a Guinness World Record for fastest clapping (featured in the song "Messalina, Lover Lamb"). Eli routinely stuns crowds with his passionate, award-winning violin.

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 the band's publicist if you need free CDs, digital tracks, videos, high resolution photos or tickets to the show. 

Radio and print interviews are welcome.

Band Publicist: Elizabeth Mullen Matteson


Dispatch Details

Ticket URL: Click here
Ticket Phone: 330-252-1190
Venue Link: Click here
Venue Zip: 44308
Venue City, State: Akron, OH
Venue St. Address: 47 East Market Street
Venue: BluJazz
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