Occidental Gypsy is a nationally-touring acoustic 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. Their unique gypsy sound is burnished by smooth vocals by Jeremy Frantz that are reminiscent of the first era of swing.
Their newest songs are complex and challenging to execute, and are often considered a natural evolution of Reinhardt’s sounds were he still alive today. Their most notable new piece is the title track of their latest CD 44070. “Song for Vrba: 44070” tells the story of the heroism of Rudolf Vrba, a man who escaped a concentration camp in WWII and is credited with saving the lives of 100,000 more. While a strictly instrumental piece (other songs by the band include vocals), the scale and emotion of the song has a cinematic feel.