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San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2002

San Francisco, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Jazz Americana




""deep emotion is truly rooted in Deep Night""

There are various feelings that are sprung from listening to Gaucho’s “Deep Night,” but one thing is for sure — it is music that definitely brings you to your feet.

A mixture of jazz with a twist of New Orleans swing, Gaucho is known as a “gypsy jazz sextet,” with the members of the group bringing in more than two decades of eclectic musical experiences. The group, which comprises of Michael Groh and Dave Ricketts on guitars, Ari Munkres on standup bass, Rob Reich on accordion and piano, Ralph Carney on horns and Pete Devine on percussion and drums, gives ode to the 1930s sounds of Jean “Django” Reinhardt, who helped root gypsy jazz in France, and later spread to various parts of Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

The first track on the album, “Tea for Two,” is classy and romantic, and gives the feeling of sailing away on a gondola in Italy.

On “Bossa Dorado,” we’re transported to Mexico at a spicy salsa club, where one can’t help but peel away from the wall and be whisked off to the dance floor.

The cover song, “Deep Night,” is smooth, yet dramatic. The 1930s gypsy jazz feel is definitely ingrained within this title track, and remains ever-present throughout the remainder of the album.

Overall, “Deep Night” is fun, catchy and very enjoyable. It’s one of those “feel good” albums that lets you travel the world in your own living room. Each instrument is intricate and clear. No instrument is left unturned, and no one instrument overpowers or sets precedence above another. This is rather rare, especially when bands can time to time focus on percussion more than guitars, and vise versa. Ragtime and jazz guitarist Craig Ventresco even lends a hand on four songs on the CD, but blends in, rather than outshines the group.

Though the entire album is instrumental, words are not necessary. There is a divine sense of passion between each artist and their designated instrument. Deep emotion is truly rooted in “Deep Night” and worth a listen.

For more information or to hear music on Gaucho, visit:

Rating: 4/5 - Scope Magazine, Erika Y. Gradecki

""In SF they fill hip dive bars with gypsy jazz...""

In Chicago we fill our hip dive bars with insurgent country. In San Francisco, they fill hip dive bars with gypsy jazz. This crew has been at it every Wednesday night for the last five years and the woodsheding certainly comes home to roost in proper way on this set. Much more than just a bunch of kids with Django fantasies, this is a mood, a time and a place that just gets that much sweeter when you can make it exist between your ears. Fun set card, solid playing, sly, winking humor in the playing. This is a must for off the clock listening. - Midwest Record

""Gaucho scores high marks...""

The gypsy-jazz sextet, Gaucho brings back the jangly country-swing grooves of riverboat bands and the emotive nature of Russian-based folk dances on their latest album, Deep Night. Their repertoire has shavings of Django Reinhardt’s country textured jazz with slabs of gypsy-folk dance rhythms. The band’s rhythm section has raspy washboard strokes of Ari Munkres on standup bass and the splashing strikes of drummer Pete Devine creating a pliable floorboard for the supple accordion swags of Rob Reich and the swiveling riffs of guitarists Dave Ricketts and Michael Groh as Ralph Carney’s horns slip and slide excitedly across the melodic seams. The band’s arrangements are so well balanced that everyone’s parts have definition as they each share the spotlight, including special guest guitarist Craig Ventresco whose ragtime textured sequences add glitz and flying sparks to the numbers.

From beginning to end, the album feels like an episode of the Lawrence Welk Show, particularly in the band’s rendition of “Tea For Two” which was a staple of the show. Moving from the country meshed clip-clopping beats of “St. Louis Blues” to the sensual Spanish flare of the guitar riffs in “Bossa Dorado” and “Tico Tico,” to the exotic zig-zagging patterns of the clarinet in “The Sheik Of Araby” and the Italian bistro ambience of “Two Deuces“ and “Memories Of You,” Gaucho integrates influences from various world cultures into their music. But no matter where the band takes their music, the tunes are all dance floor oriented from the tender glides of “Bei Dir War Es Immer So Schoen” to the jumping beats and nimbly swiveling motions of “Some Of These Days.” The suavely rolling slopes of the horns in the title track have a waltzing strut that emotes deep seeded desires with overtones of a Greek tragedy, while the peppy sprigs of horns and accordion keys swerving across “Dark Eyes” are laced in a Russian-folk dance rhythm.

Gaucho scores high marks for integrating the rhythms of world cultures in their music while also retaining a slice of Americana in their songs with elements of ragtime and the old-time country-swing of riverboat bands. They offer more than a typical gypsy-jazz ensemble and their love of this music is inspiring. - By Susan Frances, Jazz Review

""unbridled charm... abundant fun""

It’s not a rule of thumb exactly, but a safe bet: any record which includes a musical comb, washboard or cheek percussion can’t be bad. All three appear at key moments of Deep Night, the third release from Gaucho, a San Francisco outfit which has held down a weekly gig at the city’s Amnesia club for five years running.

Although billed as a gypsy jazz band in the tradition of Django Reinhardt, Gaucho actually makes café music in the broadest sense. Reaching beyond Django’s famed “hot club” sound, the group incorporates New Orleans style stomps and drags, Parisian waltz-musette, Latin warmth and old-world melancholy in a gleefully heady, infectiously swinging blend.

At the forefront is David Ricketts, whose breezy guitar picking makes a nice foil for the more sober accordion of Rob Reich. They set the mood, but the sound of the group is incomplete without the freewheeling rhythm of drummer Pete Devine and horn player Ralph Carney. Both have a “play anything” sense of unbridled fun, which yields not only the aforementioned comb and cheeks but also a good deal of this disc’s abundant charm. Carney plays just about any instrument a man can blow into, and renders saxes, clarinets and trumpet alike with sassy, naughty flair. Michael Groh holds the center with his spot-on guitar rhythms, while Ari Munkres turns in a couple of fat, sweet-toned bass solos. Guest guitarist Craig Ventresco adds a loose-limbed ragtime sound to four tracks.

Further analysis of this exuberant disc would defeat the point. The world – and jazz – have been quite serious enough lately. Lighten up and swing with Gaucho.

- By Forrest Dylan Bryant, The Jazz Observer

""S.F. Jazz Festival: 10 shows you need to see""

Gaucho: It's fair to call guitarist Dave Ricketts' Gaucho a Gypsy jazz band, but the Bay Area combo has always drawn on a far wider palette of influences than just Django Reinhardt's classic Manouche swing recordings with violinist Stephane Grappelli. It is particularly influenced by early New Orleans jazz. Performing as a sleek quartet, this incarnation of Gaucho features bassist Ari Munkres, percussionist Steve Apple and Rob Reich on accordion, a formidable bandleader and composer in his own right. Details: 8 and 9:30 p.m. June 15, Joe Henderson Lab, $20. - San Jose Mercury News, Andrew Gilbert


Gaucho Live at Joe's Pub - 2016 - Self-released
Thinking of You - 2014- Self-released
Part-time Sweetheart - 2012- Self-released
Pearl - 2010
Deep Night - 2009 - Porto Franco Records
Deluxe - 2007 - Self-released
Live at Djangofest SF - 2006 - Self-released



Gaucho is a masterful Bay Area band that combines the influence of gypsy jazz of 1930’s Europe with the rhythmic drive and collective improvisation of New Orleans swing music, gutbucket blues and elements of ragtime. Their sound, a uniquely American concoction, blends instrumental acuity and lighthearted humor that keep their audience coming back for more. As founder, guitarist, and main composer Dave Ricketts says, the band is “in love with the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Jimmie Rodgers, as well as the stories, the life styles and the foot steps of hundreds of other great jazz, blues, country and rock musicians that created the sound of American Music from roughly 1900-1950’s”

Gaucho has recorded seven albums, tours regularly, and has an increasing repertoire of over forty original tunes. Seven of their tunes are featured in the 2012 film "Trattoria"; one was chosen by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their website; and another is featured in the outtakes section of the Pixar DVD CARS 2.

Led by eminent guitarist, Dave Ricketts, the group has been a San Francisco mainstay for over fifteen years, and one of the busiest bands in the bay area playing 5 to 10 gigs a week. Together with virtuosos Rob Reich–accordion and Craig Venetresco–guitar, superlative bassist Ari Munkres and versatile percussionist Steve Apple, these guys keep crowds moving with their beats and complex rhythms.

Band Members