Gypsies & Judges
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Gypsies & Judges

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Los Angeles, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
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"Band of the Week: Gypsies & Judges"

MEMBERS: Chloe Keedy (vocals, trombone), Nate Guzé (bass), Jeremy “Max” Castillo (guitar, mandolin) and Eric Hyman (drums).
CITIES OF ORIGIN: Rancho Cucamonga, San Francisco and the greater Los Angeles area.

KINDERED SPIRITS: Django Reinhardt and the Dustbowl Revival, Anita O’Day, Charles Mingus, Ron Carter, Modest Mouse, Thrice, Radiohead, Jack Teagarden and many more.

WEBSITES: www.gypsiesandjudges.bandcamp.com, www.facebook.com/GypsiesAndJudges.

FREQUENTS: “The Barn is a great place to play but house parties are always fun too! We have a show at Back to the Grind on June 21 and I’m sure it’ll be a blast.”

(WEB)botwJazz has gone through some dark times in its heyday, but a different kind of darkness is emerging from a rogue group of Gypsies & Judges. These musicians from UCR have managed to diversify a once metal drummer with the steady and traditional rhythm of the upright bass. Hear everything from gypsy to New Orleans style jazz with a singer that channels her inner Billie Holiday on almost every track. The Gypsies are almost done polishing up a few things for its new E.P. that aims to bring jazz back to the masses. Soon, you can be the judge of some great 21st century jazz music.



How did you get involved in music/how did your band form?

Jeremy “Max” Castillo: I started playing in the UCR Jazz Ensemble during my sophomore year of college and met Chloe during my junior year. I overheard her talking about some of my favorite artists which lead to the two of us jamming a couple of times. Chloe then approached Nate, and Nate brought us Eric.



What does the name mean?

Chloe Keedy: “Gypsies” comes from both the influence of gypsy jazz over our style along with the connotations of freedom that come with the word. The “Judges” part is a little more complicated—it comes from the fact that the styles we’re influenced by are largely dying out.



Can you define what it means to be a “dark swing” band?

Nate Guzé: Melancholy lyrics and melodies contribute to “dark swing.” Eric is also highly influenced by metal, which adds a certain degree of “darkness” to our swinging jazz sound that the rest of the band emphasizes.

Keedy: It’s more of a feeling than anything—the swing part is obvious, but the darkness is built on the somber mentality of early jazz (think “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday) with the push of frustration that our generation is facing in a modern context.



Would you care to explain the inspiration for the new E.P.?

Castillo: It’s meant to showcase our musical styles and the creativity of each individual musician.

Guzé: Keep an ear out for “Futile Red” and “Mistress.” This isn’t just a debut E.P., but a debut of ourselves.



What about the IE intrigues you?

Castillo: I’ve never before seen a more accepting crowd towards musicians. Everyone who has supported us by coming to our shows have all been great. We’re always excited to play for new people and see them have a blast.



Anything else you would like us to know?

Eric Hyman: Special thanks to my roommates for letting us practice every week. And to all of the Gypsy fans coming through to our shows, it truly means a lot.

Guzé: I’m sure we were obnoxious at some point, but we needed the time and the space. Max put a considerable amount of time and effort into recording this E.P., so we wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.

Keedy: Thank you to everyone that has supported us thus far . . . we couldn’t do it without you. - IE Weekly


"Feast Your Eyes - Gypsies & Judges"

If you haven’t heard of Gypsies and Judges you should probably stop what you’re doing right now, CLICK HERE, and have a listen. Their self-described “New Orleans swing with a modern twist” sound will make you want to dance while still delving deep enough to command attention. Their music is soulful and reminiscent of jazzy days gone by while mingling with modern twists that are fresh and appealing to our ears . Singer Chloe Keedy’s voice reminds us of Amy Winehouse, Etta James, Brittany Howard and Feist all at the same time while retaining a unique quality all her own. We caught up with Gypsies and Judges and asked a few questions so you can get to know them better.

RR: Why did you choose the name ‘Gypsies and Judges’?
G/J: The name “Gypsies & Judges” came to our drummer in a dream about, you guessed it, gypsies and judges. When she presented the idea to the group, we all liked the juxtaposition of the words, even though she wouldn’t elaborate what exactly happened in the dream…
RR: Describe your sound in five words
G/J: Modern Edged Gypsy Swing Jazz
RR: Who are your top three musical influences?
G/J: Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, and Modest Mouse.
RR: What is your favourite thing to eat after a show?
G/J: Chloe Keedy (Lead Vocals, Trombone) – Portabello Mushroom Burger.
Nate Guzé (Upright Bass) – Chicken burritos (or sometimes a California burrito) with tons of avocado and jalapeno peppers or hot sauce.
Nadine Parra (Drums) – A good old fashioned Cheeseburger!
John Garcia – Classic Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Jordan Hang – “A big a*s steak.” (Word for word response!)
John Duke O’Neill – Goldfish (the crackers )
RR: When can we expect to see you in Toronto?
G/J: We are currently planning a North American tour that we would love to route towards Toronto, so keep your ears open! We’ll be sure to let you know when we start.
If Gypsies and Judges are bringing Jazz forward we are right behind them, dancing every step of the way. - RapidRecipe


"Introducing the Barn Fest"

I’ve come to love the Barn. In the evening under a velvety, black sky, it’s the perfect place to commune with friends, indulge in great food and witness some of the most talented artists out there — and with midterms underway, the Barn’s first annual Barn Fest gave stressed students a worry-free night full of great live music and a refreshing sense of community. Audience members danced the night away to the smooth sounds of indie rock band Seaside Audio, jazz band Gypsies and Judges and tropical Afro-Latin band Quita Penas.

First up was Seaside Audio, a band comprised of four incredibly skilled young men who lit up the stage with their enthusiasm. I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I watched keyboardist David Ajoku grin from ear to ear, bobbing his head as he encouraged the crowd to clap along during their set. Never missing a beat, drummer Luke Johnson kept the group in sync and intrigued the audience with intricate drumming patterns that breathed life into their songs. Vocalists Rolando and Roland Garcia displayed strong vocal ability as they lingered in and out of beautiful harmonies while also playing bass and guitar.

In an interview, Roland implied that it came quite naturally to layer their sounds with both the guitar and bass, and with the help of a pretty awesome gift from a celebrity bass player, they got their start. “I always liked the sound of me complementing my brother on guitar. I loved the sound of two different parts combined together. I was always a fan of a low tone, and realized how thin our sound was with just two guitars. Inspired by Fall Out Boy’s bass player Pete Wentz, I got his signature bass as a gift and learned from there on.”

Seaside Audio’s breezy, infectious sound is hard not to enjoy, and with influences like Young the Giant and Foster the People, it’s obvious where they get their style from — but don’t think the band is a carbon copy. Johnson made it very clear that they enjoy being unique. “In our material I’ve always wanted to create a style that was different and not repetitive.”

Seaside Audio left the modest crowd cheerful as they performed original songs and covers, exiting the stage to make way for jazz-swing band Gypsies and Judges. Members Chloe Keedy, Nathan Guze, John Duke O’Neill, Nadine Parra, John Garcia and Jordan Hang switched up the sound in the most interesting and rewarding way possible. Vocalist Keedy was electric as she shimmied to the music and carried each song with jazzy and soulful vocals. Between their original songs and modernized 1900s swing hits, Keedy made it a point to converse with the crowd in between songs, and things took a turn for the interesting when she began telling the story of an original song they were about to perform. She talked about writing the song after the cancelled Heat weekend and witnessing a scene out in the street in the wee hours of the morning between a couple. It just so happened that Keedy was talking about a girl named Gabbi Bravo, who happened to be attending the concert that night. There were hoots and hollers all around as Bravo made her way to the stage and had the next song dedicated to her. Overall, Gypsies and Judges had a solid set filled with drums, guitar, fiddle, bass, trumpet and trombone that made sure that they achieved the 1920s-inspired jazz theme they embrace in their sound.

I watched as the crowd dispersed from around the front of the stage and paced around the room as they waited for the last band to perform. Slowly but surely, I noticed the Barn gaining a slightly larger audience and heard screams echo as Quita Penas stepped onto the stage. Last but certainly not least, Quita Penas induced elated hollers and prompted some to pull out their cell phones to start recording. When the music started, it was as if the Barn had transformed into a full-on dance club. Couples were swaying swiftly, others were tapping their feet and some bounced around rambunctiously to get their friends just as excited as they were.

Quita Penas seemed to be laid-back and comfortable, but played just as passionately in a way that only an experienced band could. In an interview, band member Eduardo Valencia described their start. “We formed the band mid-2011 and decided to form the band because we all knew each other but had been playing different styles. The sound that we have was inspired by a collection of recordings and records that we’d acquired. It was appealing because it was familiar but also because it had a raw, vintage sound that has kind of been hidden because of the commercialization of music.” Valencia also attributed the Riverside arts scene as an inspiration as well. “I credit a lot of my inspiration to the Inland Empire and the people I’ve met here.”

It’s obvious that their music is received well in Riverside. During one of their songs, a dance line formed and zig-zagged around the Barn, creating a sense of community that made the night even better. Quita Penas graced the audience with one more song when the crowd began yelling “Uno Mas!” before they left.

The diversity of these bands goes to show the immense amount of talent to be found in Riverside, and the willingness of music lovers to embrace local talent. All in all, the first annual Barn Fest was a good time, and I’m sure that these bands will experience an enormous amount of success in the future. - Highlander


Discography

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Bio

Gypsies & Judges is an indie jazz band that transcends the limitations of an “old time” feel by creating a unique show experience which blends tradition with modern stylings. The Highlander periodical stated in a review that “Gypsies & Judges... [achieves] the 1920s-inspired jazz theme they embrace in their sound.” Since 2012, they have been performing widely across the greater Los Angeles area at venues like the House of Blues and at festivals like The Eagle Rock Music Festival.

These practitioners of the performing arts are now proud to announce their first full-length recording project, The Violet Hour. Rapid Recipe claims, “If you haven’t heard of Gypsies & Judges you should probably stop what you’re doing right now and have a listen... Their music is soulful and reminiscent of jazzy days gone by while mingling with modern twists that are fresh and appealing to our ears.” The Violet Hour will be the first opportunity to truly experience the sound of Gypsies & Judges.

Chloe Keedy is the eccentric and multi-talented vocalist for Gypsies & Judges. Her vocal styles “channel her inner Billie Holiday” according to I.E. Weekly and have been called “jazzy and soulful” by The Highlander. She is also known to tear-up a mean trombone every now and then, too. UC Riverside’s concertmaster, Jordan Hang, has graced crowds with his unique style of jazz-fiddle. Jazz trumpeter, John Garcia, compliments vocal melodies. Nate Guzé holds down a jazzy groove  on upright-bass. John "Duke" O’Neill’s sense of rhythm on the guitar contributes to the vision of the band. And Nadine Parra keeps the beat on drums. These musicians combine their creativity to make Gypsies & Judges.

Band Members