The performance by Occidental Gypsy has been postponed due to the closure of the Dunaway Auditorium for public events. Because of the discovery of mold in the location of the Police Department, that Department is being temporarily relocated in the Dunaway Center auditorium, making it unavailable for performances. OPA plans to reschedule Occidental Gypsy at a future date.
Hailing from New England, this nationally touring acoustic jazz band performs a blend of gypsy jazz and folk music in a pioneering approach to traditional “hot club jazz” music, paying homage to Django Reinhardt and expanding the genre to include elements of western (Occidental) sounds and rhythms, including blues, Klezmer and Latin. Their music cannot be easily classified: it’s a bit of jazz, a strain of blues, a seismic swing experience and “a whole lotta gypsified groove.”
According to David Bromberg, “these guys have great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, and high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band!” The Boston Globe has named them a “Best Bet for Weekend Entertainment”.
The quintet has played in over 200 venues in over 30 states, selling out legendary jazz clubs in Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles. They have shared the stage with such greats as Wynton Marsalis, Rikki Lee Jones, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, and David Bromberg.
Their sound appeals to a wide range of audiences, from concert halls to clubs, art centers to festivals. Their between-set banter and personal dynamics add entertainment value, and audiences often find themselves dancing in the aisles!
Brett Feldman- lead guitar, composer, co-arranger and a founder
Eli Bishop- All strings, co-arranger
Jeremy Frantz- lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jeff Feldman- bass
John Chapman- percussion
Eli Bishop, a Nashville violin prodigy who began playing at age 3, has played with Wynton Marsalis, Bill Evans of the Miles Davis Group, Vince Gill, and the Wooten Brothers. And was awarded a Guinness Record for the world’s fastest clapping!
Brett Feldman is a self-taught musician and composer. His original songs are challenging to execute even by the most seasoned gypsy jazz artists and are crafted as emotional renderings of important ideas. His most notable new piece, also the title track of their recent CD- Song for Vrba:44070- tells the story of the heroism of Rudolf Vrba, who escaped Auschwitz in WW II, and whose reporting of the atrocities led to an end of Hungarian deportation of Jews to Germany and is credited with saving the lives of over 200,000.
Jeremy Frantz is a protégé of legendary guitarist Joe Negri. He is best known for his soulful singing of classic standards. More than once, he has brought crowds to near silence through the warmth and openness of his vocals.
Jeff Feldman and John Chapman keep crowds moving with beats and complex rhythms with roots in Latin music and Klezmer, well integrated into original compositions and support the richness of music that almost make them sound like they could be plugged in rather than acoustic.