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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE
Band World Jazz


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"reviews - soul, funk and world: Gypsophilia Constellation"

By David DacksWith Constellation, Halifax, NS's Gypsophilia continue to find new directions in gypsy swing. Sometimes they barely swing at all, which is often just as interesting. Not to say that they can't or won't swing, but there's usually a twist, such as with the grittily happy "Skirmish," featuring ring-modulated keyboard, distorted guitar and aggressive organ making the joyful bounce hit a little harder. The septet's biggest strengths are the writing and voicing of their material, with expansive chords livening up pretty melodies and unexpected changes. These play into a ballad such as "Valse Povero," a melancholy three-step with wistful piano that turns into something approaching space rock halfway through. Even "Super Bowl Party" is a delicate tune, until it veers into an affectionate "We Are the Champions" reference. All this is done without the use of a drum kit, which forces the rhythmic elements to be more inventive, even funky, as in "Bercy." There's a nice balance of good humour and experimentation that should appeal to a wide range of people at festivals and cafes alike.
(Independent) - Exclaim

"Gypsophilia’s “Constellation”- decadent old-time jazz with a klezmer touch from Halifax, NS"

By Cory Doctorow (Boing boing)

Back in 2009, I reviewed “Sa-ba-da-OW!”, a wonderful, eclectic album from Gypsophilia, an indie band out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I’ve just finished a day’s listening to their new album, “Constellation,” which is out today, and it’s every bit as good as the last one.

This is still recognizably Gypsophilia, still eclectic, slightly angular, high-energy jazz with bits of klezmer and stuff thrown in, but Constellation is more put-together and polished. But not too polished! It still makes me want to get out of my seat and dance around the room (especially the opening track, “Zachary’s Czardas,” which seems to channel Stéphane Grappelli’s jazz fiddle and the piano stylings of Daffy Duck in full swing). - Boing Boing

"Gypsophilia – Constellation"

La capitale de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Halifax, tire sa renommée de sa scène pop indé et de ses auteurs-compositeurs. Cela semble changer, car un des groupes les plus intéressants de la région est un septet alliant le jazz et la musique manouche. Gypsophilia, groupe qui appartient avant tout à la scène indé, part à sa découverte sur son troisième album, “Constellation”, paru sur l’étiquette “Forward Music Group”.

Bien que le groupe soit ancré dans les traditions manouches et swing, Gypsophilia a enregistré cet album au studio montréalais hotel2tango avec Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Lhasa). Cette présence permet de faire ressortir l’aspect rock de la musique du groupe avec un orgue ou des guitares amplifiées. Gypsophilia propose une arrière-pensée indé ce qui donne une saveur actuelle au groupe.

“Constellation” est un véritable tour de force; sans batteur, la section rythmique se démarque et elle fait preuve d’originalité. L’instrumentation et le contexte demeurent moderne et s’éloignent rarement du jazz manouche: contrebasse, piano, violon, guitares acoustiques. C’est ce qui fascine chez Gypsophilia, le couplet de morceaux comme “Bercy” possède son lot d’improvisation et ses rythmes caractéristiques, mais on y retrouve un refrain pop. “Skirmish” possède des caractéristiques rock tandis “Valse Povero” démontre une progression étonnante; on passe d’une valse légère et traditionnelle à un rock expérimental. L’enchaînement est tout naturel.

Par ailleurs, Gypsophilia n’excelle pas que dans l’originalité. “Montreal” démontre à quel point les sept membres sont talentueux et habile de leur dix doigts. Leur son est complet et entier. Chacune des chansons de “Constellation” est entraînante et marquante. Le groupe est si subtile dans sa façon d’expérimenter qu’on ne peut pas les accuser de parodier un style musical en particulier. - 500khz

"Constellation marks another shining star in Gypsophilia’s collection"

by Simon Thibeault

…What do you do to follow up an award-winning, chart-topping album? When you’re Gypsophilia, you just keep on plugging away. After the release of the 2009 album Sa-ba-da-OW!, Gypsophilia spent countless hours, days and months on tour, promoting the music, and reached new audiences with its distinctive sound. The cohesion that is present in Gypsophilia’s playing—due to years of touring together—is instinctive. The songs play like conversations and choruses, with everyone speaking the same language.

The result of those conversations is the new album Constellation.

It’s produced by Howard Bilerman, who has previously worked with a who’s-who of Canadian indie darlings, such as Arcade Fire, Stars, Basia Bulat and Bell Orchestre. It seems that Bilerman knows how to speak Gypsophilia’s musical shorthand and we—the Gypsophilia-loving public—are better for it. The production value Bilerman brings to the group is one of great intimacy, with strings at the forefront when needed, while horns declare their intentions when it is their turn to say what they feel. The album plays like a beautiful opera sung across musical genres, times and places.

After a recent, brief tour of Ontario and Quebec, the band has come home to celebrate the release of its new album. They will be playing two shows, including a masquerade ball at the Seahorse on Friday, and a release party at The Carleton on the November 1. We—the Gypsophilia-loving public —are ever grateful. – - The Coast

"Constellation Review"

By Andrew Sisk

I had moved to Halifax for the second time in 2004 and had heard of these gypsy jazz shows that were happening in an old church. It felt like one of those secret underground happenings that I had always read about but had never had the chance to be a part of. In the dimly lit church, the music summoned another era of Django Reinhardt inspired string bands. Gypsophilia was the band and the crowd were dancing like they didn’t know how but didn’t care either. Musical prowess flew from every player of the group as they skipped and ran over scales and old european melodies. The music that bowed and picked it’s way over the audience had a power that compelled people to suddenly add gypsy-jazz to the list of music they liked.

Now, 7 years later, Constellation is their 3rd release and demonstrates giant steps. Recorded at Hotel2Tango studios in Montreal with the group’s 3 guitars, Double Bass, violin, and trumpet/piano as the instrumentation, the diversity of inspiration jukeboxes through the album while being held up by a mastery of musicianship. The busy swinging notes and jostling of solos makes this album undeniably jazz, however, the infusions of eastern european folk and klezmer elevate it beyond a lone category. The fuzzed guitar on tracks like “skirmish” and apocalyptic synths on “Valse Povero” show a subtle touch of experiment to the album while mournful french pop weeps from “Super Bowl party” and “Bercy” has a Curtis Mayfield flair.

The virtuosity of their live performance is captured in these live off the floor sessions in clarity and character, making Constellation one of the best Jazz albums of the year. - Southern Souls

"Symphony Concert Review"

Apart from superb musician­ship, Halifax’s Gypsophilia has staked its tents on several musi­cal fault lines which are trou­bled from moment to moment by subterranean tremors of jazz-pop, gypsy jazz, Parisian cafe pop, klezmer and unpre­dictable raw creativity from all seven of them.

While every one of their en­thusiastic fans knows in their bones who and what they are, the band continues to resist definition eight years after it chose Django Reinhardt as its stylistic launching pad.

There is something unfin­ished about them which is quix­otically attention-grabbing.

They do display polish, espe­cially in this concert, but you never know what the next mo­ment will bring. They never lost Django since the started up in 2004, but now his style rubs along comfortably with all the others like pebbles in a cement­mixer.

All we can do by way of defi­nition is to identify the quark­like fields of musical atoms they breeze over. And admire them, of course, while their happiness­maddened fans, awash in bliss, writhe about as loosely as long grass in a high wind.

Friday night, in a Symphony Nova Scotia’s Maritime Pops concert, the band finally got a shot at the Cohn stage with ac­cess to the best back-up musi­cians in the nation. As a soft­seater, there was no chance in the Cohn of dancing to their tunes, except internally. De­prived of this outlet for their energies, the sold-out crowd discovered with ears alone what first-class players Gypsophilia are.

The concert began with SNS playing Bela Bartok’s Roumanian Dances, very romantically under resident conductor Shalom Bard’s direction, but also very brilliantly, very colourfully, and very precisely.

Bard hit his stride in this per­formance and continued for the rest of the evening to confidently capture the Gypsophilia spirit in arrangements of their original tunes by Chris Palmer, Rebecca Pellet and David Christensen, as well as Gypsophilia’s bass player Adam Fine, trumpeter Matt Myer and their formidable pianist Sageev Oore.

Oore applies classical tech­nique where it counts with Lisz­tian flourishes and top-speed rhythmic riffs as powerful as a full-fisted, 10-fingered Rach­maninoff finale. His contribution of an original premiere he called Pappy Polka, arranged for piano, band and full orchestra, gave a full workout to SNS’s Christine Feierabend on piccolo and flutist Patricia Creighton.

Guitarist Ross Burns enter­tained as emcee and contributed a tribute to his 101-year-old grandmother, a sweet tune called Opa. Guitarist Nick Wilkinson gave us a craggy tune called Skirmish, and guitarist Alec Frith, one of the most naturally musical players in the band, played bluesy solos and wrote an engaging tune he called Super Bowl Party.

Matt Myer contributed a win­some ditty called Valse Povero and kept the band focused with wonderfully integrated trumpet solos and riffs and Hammond B3 fills from his Nord keyboard.

Bassist Adam Fine anchored the band with punchy bass-lines and a bowed solo in his original tune, Goncourt.

If Gypsophilia could be said to have a soul, it would be the easy jazzy musicality of violinist Gina Burgess who channeled Ste­phane Grapelli from tune to tune. She too has classical chops, which showed up in a subtle double-stop passage in Opa, straight out of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Her original tune, Zachary’s Czardas, was as highly coloured by Gypsy violinistics as anyone could wish for. Her remarkably rich, smooth and polished sound, and her lively, inventive solos and fills even turned a few heads in the violin section of the orchestra, all of whom know her anyway since she subs-in from time to time on SNS concerts. - Chronicle Herald Halifax

"Gypsophilia Sa-ba-da-OW! by Vish Khanna"

Often lumped in with indie rock jazz ensembles, Nova Scotia septet Gypsophilia are truly tricky to categorize on this vibrant new record that possesses a dramatic arc. A live favourite with crossover appeal, Gypsophilia do draw from familiar wells, conjuring the sweet swing of Django Reinhardt on something like "Heitzing," after taking a decidedly klezmer route in the plainly named "Jewish Dance Party!" That same manner of infectious gypsy jazz pops up throughout this bright recording overseen by Halifax engineer Charles Austin; one can almost imagine how full his hands must have been, as "Chased" proceeds to charm its way from the gifted assembly of musicians. When they let their hair down a bit more and take on the loose, semi-improvised flavour of "You Make Time," Gypsophilia shine a light on their remarkable intuition as an ensemble, ably dialoguing as if in a narrative, instilling the rich Sa-ba-da-OW! with playful taste. (Independent) - Exclaim!

"Sa-Ba-Da-OW! review"

Gypsophilia is prepping to release their new record, Sa-ba-da-OW! and even though they still play a mixture of klezmer and French jazz, the new record is much more diverse collection of sounds. Their songs are still playful, as they balance tension, drama and whimsy nicely, but for some reason Sa-ba-da-OW! seems to have a stronger heartbeat and a more enriched soul.

Over the course of 11 songs they revisit traditional and familiar sounds (Jewish Dance Party and Legs Bounce for example), but it's the experiments with more soulful grooves (like the out of nowhere reggae tinged treat, You Make Time or the funk filled Sa-ba-da-OW!), percussion and a willingness to stretch the borders and boundaries of timeless influences that makes this record work.

But no matter how great a job Charles Austin did helping the band fine tune their sound, anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of seeing the band live knows that 11 quick hitting songs on record does NOT equal the pure joy of seeing the songs come to life when the adrenaline and alcohol start running through the room. Fans dress up and almost instantly, a swing dance party starts and instead of swimming through a sea of arm-crossed, pasty faced, white dudes peering at a band with apathy, you groove amongst a breathing mass of smiles that dances until the last note is played. For a few hours, people forget about looking cool and let a true love of music take over. - Hero Hill

"fantastic album of angular, sweet, nostalgic jazz from indie Halifax band by Cory Doctorow"

Halifax "angular jazz" musicians Gypsophilia have just released their new album, "Sa-ba-da-OW!" and it's fabulous, a jazz-era sound that has plenty of straight-ahead melody in addition to some really weird, interesting side-jaunts. The band is known for throwing beautiful, decadent debauchery parties in 1930s style in Halifax, and the music carries over that party mood. Be sure to check out the title track for something really special. - Boing Boing

"TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival notes"

On June 27 as part of Gastown Jazz, Halifax septet Gypsophilia overcame lowering clouds and spattering raindrops to get the crowd at the steam clock dancing and cheering. The band performed original compositions that blend a series of rootsy styles for dancing—mainly Reinhardt’s hallmark swing, vintage New Orleans jazz, tango, Balkan, and eastern Mediterranean musics.

Audience members were at first shy to shake a leg; there were few takers for bassist Adam Fine’s mid-set invitation to get up and move to his “Jewish Dance Party”, but the gradually accelerating, then swiftly decelerating, klezmer rhythm soon proved irresistible. From that point on, Gypsophilia had the crowd in its collective pocket and was clearly inspired. The appeal went beyond music. Dressed in sartorial styles ranging from the ’20s to the ’60s that reflected influences on their songs, the musicians of Gypsophilia were also visually striking, and guitarist-frontman Ross Burns proved a genial presenter, tossing T-shirts to a forest of raised hands. - Georgia Strait (Vancouver)

"The rise of the great Canadian string bands"


December 8, 2007

The Creaking Tree String Quartet doesn't look like a typical jazz combo. There are no drums, for one thing, nor is there a piano. No trumpet or saxophone, either. And despite the name, it doesn't really look like a string quartet, either, as the sole violin is backed by mandolin, guitar and double bass, not violin, viola and cello, as in classical music.

The Creaking Tree String Quartet is a string band, a type of combo so archaic that it was dubbed "old-time" as far back as 1923. Although string bands were once incredibly common - the music they played would eventually form the basis of what is now known as country music - the format was mostly ignored in jazz, apart from the popularity enjoyed by Django Reinhart and the Quintette du Hot Club de France in the 1930s.

Somehow, though, the string-band format has become quite hot in Canada. The Toronto-based Creaking Trees landed two trophies at last Saturday's Canadian Folk Music Awards ceremony at Gatineau, Que., where its third album, The Soundtrack, was recognized in the "pushing the boundaries" category.

Along with a host of Reinhart-inspired groups such as Toronto's Club Django, a growing number of jazz groups are eschewing the usual brass and piano, and letting violin and acoustic guitar take the lead. In addition to the bluegrass-tinged sound of the Creaking Trees, there is the Sultans of String (also from Toronto), whose debut album, Luna, incorporates Gypsy melodies, rumba rhythms and sometimes even Middle Eastern percussion. There's also Halifax's Gypsophilia, a sextet whose first album, Minor Hope, bounces from hot swing to free jazz and back again.

Why string bands, though? And why in Canada?

Some of that no doubt has to do with the fact that, in this country, violin isn't just a classical instrument. "Violin certainly rules the East Coast of Canada," says Sultans of String violinist Chris McKhool. "It's the electric guitar of the East Coast. But there's a super-rich tradition of fiddling all through Canada."

Of course, there's quite a tradition of fiddling in American bluegrass and country music, which is why Creaking Tree violinist John Showman avers, "I don't know that it's a particularly Canadian thing. In the States, you have a lot of what would have been bluegrass or old-time bands that are going in that direction. Some of the bands that pop into mind are the Mammals, the Infamous Stringdusters and the Biscuit Burners.

"But they do stick to a narrower sound frame," he adds. "Maybe it is a more Canadian thing to jump out and explore a lot."

It's certainly true that while the Creaking Tree String Quartet's music started with a firm grounding in bluegrass, the four wasted little time in finding other areas to explore. "The other three guys in the band - Brian [Kobayakawa], Andrew [Collins] and Brad [Keller] - had all gone to jazz schools and were all pretty decent jazz players," says Showman.

"But once we started to get to know each other, it was like, there's so much music that we all like, from crazy free-form improv, to really dark heavy metal, to really cool modern classical stuff. So why don't we try to communicate the rest of this stuff and play whatever the heck we want?"

Feeling free to explore such possibilities isn't simply a matter of having tastes in common; it also helps if the players can afford to take the time to try out new ideas and unexpected connections. And that's where Canadian musicians have an advantage over their American colleagues.

"I think we have more artistic freedom because we've got more financial freedom," says McKhool. "Musicians in the States have to worry about all sorts of things we don't have to worry about. Take the health-care system. When I started out in music as a professional musician, I was living in Montreal and was making about $400 a month. My rent was $150, and after buying food and a little bit of electronic gear, I could get through each month.

"And the freedom that grants you, of not having to worry about getting thrown out of your flat, means you can do crazier things, to please your artistic soul, instead of trying to make a buck."

It also helps that the Canadian music scene, particularly on the festival circuit, is very inclusive. "We've played jazz festivals, folk festivals, bluegrass festivals and just plain music festivals," says Keller of Creaking Tree's six years on the circuit. "We even got hired at the Stratford [Summer Music] classical festival one year, to play on the barge."

But as Gypsophilia guitarist Nick Wilkinson sees it, the biggest advantage bands like his have are Canadian audiences. Like the other groups, Gypsophilia started almost by accident, as Wilkinson and other Reinhart-inspired musicians looked for opportunities to play together. And, as with Creaking Tree and the Sultans, Gypsophilia's stylistic footprint grew broader as its members decided to explore other influences, such as funk, tango and klezmer music.

"One thing that's been really cool is that as we've moved into more different song structures and more modern harmonies, the audience has always been right there with us," he says.

"I think part of it is that we keep that swing pulse going, underneath whatever we're doing, even if it's fairly out there. It almost feels like we could do anything onstage, and as long as we keep that energy, people would like it. It's really exciting." - Globe and Mail

"Minor Hope CD Review"

Local jazz fans have been raving about Gypsophilia since its inception and Minor Hope shows why—packed end-to-end with stellar chops and arrangements whose execution is nothing short of genius. The disc is a cornucopia of jazz blasts, baroque bridges and blues-funk groove that all roam over a foundation in French gypsy jazz. Rounded out by some of Halifax’s finest musicians, such as the Oore brothers, Ross Burns, Alec Frith, Gina Burgess, Adam Fine and Nick Wilkinson, Gypsophilia’s debut is not only one of the best jazz discs to come out of Halifax in some time, it is destined to be one of the finest jazz records this year. - The Coast


by Johnston Farrow

The name is a tip-off. Then take a single good look at the seven-piece called Gypsophilia and you'll get a sense of what you're in for. It's a gang of players, dressed in the best vintage clothing local thrift shops have to offer, coiffed with quirky styles, sporting mischievous grins and exuding a sense of adventure. As soon as the band hits its first note, it all comes together. The group embodies the spirit of early-20th-century, jazz-loving gypsies, bringing their mish-mash of diverse sounds to boisterous contemporary audiences ready to delve into their world.

The sounds of eastern Europe, mixed with the rhythmic guitar bounce of Django Reinhardt and '20s- and '30s-era jazz, entice audiences to get up from their chairs and dance. It's fun, fast-paced and one of the most original sounds to come out of Halifax in ages.

No wonder this group of talented young local musicians has been attracting big crowds over the past three years, making them the most popular band in the city without a record. That all changes this weekend when Gypsophilia releases its all-original debut, Minor Hope, an album that's set to take the group beyond the enthusiastic east-coast audiences and that will also show current fans a whole new side to their favourite dance act.

"In the recording studio it's absolute music," says composer and multi-instrumentalist Dani Oore. "It can have extra musical association in the lyrics, but the music is there for people to listen to. In the performance setting, where people are dancing, the music is a tool to communicate. It's a tool to get shit going."

photos Julé Malet-Veale
Although the members of Gypsophilia claim to have no set leader, Alec Frith embodies the spirit of the band. After a bout of tendonitis left the former music student incapable of playing the bass guitar, his instrument of choice, he found inspiration in the tale of Django Reinhardt, the legendary French jazz guitarist, who played with two paralyzed fingers after a fire left him badly injured.

"At that time he looked like Django and he even had the facial hair," violinist Gina Burgess says about her first meetings with Frith. "I think he was the first person to dress like Django. I don't think he specifically went out and said, "I'm going to dress like Django,' it just became part of his personality at that time."

Frith responded to an online ad placed by rhythm guitarist Nick Wilkinson and started jamming on Reinhardt songs and other similar pieces from the Jazz era. After initial practices they decided to form a group and eventually added guitarist Ross Burns, saxophonist Dani Oore and double-bassist Adam Fine. They would later ask Oore's brother Sageev—on piano and keyboards—and Burgess to join.

Each member brought a new element to the collective sound. The Oores and Fine added a touch of klezmer and eastern-European styles from their other project, Kefi, a celebration of the group's Jewish ancestry through music. Burgess brought classical sounds from her musical training and besides Django, Frith incorporated contemporary funk, blues and reggae to the proceedings. Unlike modern jazz groups, Gypsophilia purposely did not add a drummer, relying on the rhythm of the bass and guitar to drive the music forward.

It became quickly apparent from its debut show at the 2004 Atlantic Jazz Festival that Gyspophilia wouldn't be an ordinary jazz act, since the audience's response was more than expected. Word spread on the back of their impromptu dance parties and moments of unpredictability. People of all ages started showing up to gigs in increasing numbers.

"I've played in so many different bands and now lots of people like this one," Oore says, laughing. "I think it might be the consistency of it. Here we're looking back at a style where rhythms and other elements are very steady."

"I like the fact that parents and grandparents can come listen to it," Frith says. "I don't know many people that play in bands that their grandmother can come out and enjoy. That's the great thing for me, because it gets everyone together."

In an effort to expand on its frentic performances, the group took to organizing shows at bigger venues, often renting out churches and gymnasiums for elaborate theme parties that included masquerades and '20s-themed events. "I think it was a natural thing," Dani Oore says. "Almost all of our other gigs, people were dancing. A lot of these shows, people were getting up and moving around a little. It just seemed natural to give people more space to move."

While the dance parties were a success, the band didn't have anything material to show for it and fans often asked the musicians where they could purchase a CD. Despite the fact that the group wrote original songs and played them live, it took almost three years to organize an actual recording.

Taking an idea from Halifax jazz drummer Jerry Granelli's band, V16, and Adam Fine's band, TFC, the members of Gypsophilia decided to record live off the floor at the Sonic Temple, using admission as a way to pay for the pressing of its debut. The seven-piece arranged for two days in January to produce a set of member-penned compositions. After laying down some tracks during the day, the band invited people to watch a live run-through of the disc, something that caught those used to the Gypsophilia dance parties off-guard.

"It was very intense, partially because some people went in expecting something different," Dani says. "Some people actually left when they found out it wasn't a dance party. People came in and were in their seats trying not to make any noise."

The results of those two nights is Minor Hope, an album that raises the stakes for Gypsophilia as an actual jazz entity. Like the different directions of its shows, Minor Hope touches upon the group's many influences and shows a quieter, as well as a slightly darker side, of the band.

The Dave Hillier-engineered disc kicks off with live favourite, "Gyre," a Frith composition that shows off the Django-gypsy sound the band has made its own. That leads into "HIV Jump," written by Dani Oore. The song starts as a regular 32-bar swing piece, but then quickly diverges, with erratic time signatures and classical phrasing. It's Oore's experimental stylistic approach that adds charm and uniqueness to the album.

"After getting a chance to work with a bunch of traditional songs in that style, I think I started to get inspired by this group that was getting together and playing regularly and by the interesting and challenging instrumentation—three guitars, violin, keyboard, bass," Oore says. "It was trying to see what different sounds you can get with that instrumentation and also how many different ways can you look at things with that chk-chk-chk of the rhythm guitar underneath it and it still make sense."

Wilkinson, noted by Frith as the most knowledgeable in the band in terms of the genres Gypsophila draws from, contributes the songs that are, perhaps, the best example of the melting pot that is Minor Hope. "Nicole's Song," "Special Shoes" (with its likeness to Louis Armstong's "Jeepers Creepers") and "Salle Verte" (written with Frith) feature his driving Django rhythm guitar and upbeat, playful tone, with the gypsy-esque melodies provided by other members of the band.

Although some songs wouldn't fit with the Gypsophilia live show, the band's talents shine through as not only directors and hosts of wild dance parties, but also as top-notch songwriters capable of holding their own with anything being produced on a local, if not national, level. That's not to say their CD-release show will be subdued.

"When we play live you really never really know what's going to happen," Frith says. "The music is so open-ended that when you come to a Gypsophilia show, it's not going to be the same as the last one and you never really know what's going to happen. Dani might jump off the stage and rip his clothes off. And it happens!"

Gypsophilia CD release party, May 19 at the Commons Room in the Holiday Inn, 1980 Robie (at Quinpool), 8:30pm. Tickets $6 at the door only, 492-2225 for info.

Johnston Farrow is a contributing writer for The Coast. He previously wrote a cover story on folk-singer Rose Cousins for the ECMA issue. He first met the Oores at an ugly-pants party, before Gypsophilia existed, and likes saying the word klezmer. - The Coast


Consellation (LP) - released Sept 2011
Sa-ba-da-OW! (LP) - released June 2009
Minor Hope (LP) - released June 2007



Halifax-based Gypsophilia is a group of seven performers whose instrumental music blurs the lines
between the jazz and indie worlds. The band started in 2004 as a Django Reinhardt tribute, but soon
found itself mixing gypsy jazz with klezmer, funk, classical music, indie rock, and bebop, composing
original music, and selling out shows all over the US and Canada.
In recent years Gypsophilia has become a formidable touring outfit, regularly crisscrossing the
continent. Their killer live shows and danceable, genre-bending sound have made them an audience
favourite at major festivals and small clubs alike. With a combination of serious musicianship,
humour and showmanship they are capable of enchanting a sit-down crowd one moment, and
whipping people into a dancing, clapping, singing frenzy the next.
In 2013 the band released Horska - a 7” vinyl EP follow-up to their wildly successful 2011 album
Constellation. The title track on Horska is a rollicking mash-up of klezmer and ska music and the 7”
features an original dub-reggae remix of the tune on the B-side. It was accompanied by the release of
a brand new stop-motion animated music video by Halifax wonder-artist Sydney Smith and local
filmmaker Jason Levangie - the same duo responsible for Gypsophilia's acclaimed 2010 animated
video Agricola & Sarah. Horska was viewed 10 000 times in its first 4 days on YouTube. Both the EP
and the video were nominated for East Coast Music Awards in 2014.
The band’s signature fusion of original sounds is in full force on their third full-length Constellation
(Forward, 2011), which was recorded at Montreal's legendary hotel2tango studio with producer
Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, Stars, Lhasa). Constellation is a polished and inspired
effort that won two East Coast Music Awards, a Music Nova Scotia Award, and was nominated by
the ECMA as one of the year’s Best Group Recordings, and Best Albums of any genre.
Gypsophilia's previous release, Sa-ba-da-OW!, won two East Coast Music Awards, a Music Nova
Scotia Award and finished in the number 1 slot overall for 2009 on ChartAttack’s year-end national
campus radio jazz chart.
The seven-piece Gypsophilia features Alec Frith and Nick Wilkinson on guitars; Sageev Oore on
piano, accordion and keyboards; Ross Burns on guitar and percussion; Matt Myer on trumpet and
keyboards; Adam Fine on double bass and Gina Burgess on violin. Frith, Myer and Burns all play
with the roots- Reggae band Verbal Warnin’; Myer is an ECMA and Juno winner with the Johnny
Favorite Swing Orchestra; Fine plays regularly with klezmer outfit Der Heisser and improvising
guitarist Jeff Torbert. Oore has been a featured soloist with Symphony Nova Scotia and a member of
the Woodchoppers Association, while Burgess has played with Kanye West, the Maria Osende
Flamenco Company and Inuit rock band The Jerry Cans.

Band Members