Occidental Gypsy
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Occidental Gypsy

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Boston, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Jazz Americana




"Dozens of Positive Reviews"

Dr. Lonnie Smith says “I love Occidental Gypsy’s new CD 44070. The compositions and arrangements are uniquely creative. They perform with enormous heart and soul and have an original groove that is definitely worth checking out.”

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David Bromberg says “… great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.”

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Chicago Tribune Jazz Critic Howard Reich (July 2015): “…the musicians of Occidental Gypsy emerged as classicists, above all celebrating the optimistic spirit that made Reinhardt-Grappelli an antidote to the tough times of pre-World War II Europe (and beyond)… the music-making – proved carefully considered and nimbly delivered.

The heart and soul of this band were wrapped up in the work of violinist Eli Bishop… whose silken legato phrases, impeccable pitch and seemingly effortless technique in fast-moving passages represented the best of Occidental Gypsy’s work and made him the focus of attention whenever he played. Bishop’s deep-amber tone and rhapsodic way with a phrase suited the tune and elegantly rode the pulsing rhythmic backdrop of the band.

… there were sonic pleasures to be had, particularly in an energetic, gypsy-jazz transformation of Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” which opened the evening. More than once, vocalist-guitarist Frantz brought the large crowd to near silence through the warmth and openness of his singing, as in “Georgia on My Mind.” Others may command bigger, brighter voices, but the heartfelt quality and reedy tone of Frantz’s singing disarmed listeners.”

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Don Heckman of the L.A. Times (June 2015): “…results were irresistible, a virtual definition of an era when jazz was often described as “hot” music. Occidental Gypsy’s rhythm section, usually driven by the surging rhythm guitar of Brett Feldman, hit one irresistible rhythmic groove after another, “hot” was the best applicable adjective.”

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“Jeremy Frantz croons like a jazzed out Sinatra. Jeremy also takes the first of many nimble guitar solos – the others are taken by equally quick and maybe even more expressive Brett Feldman.

These guys are good. They end the first set of the night with an original, “Gypsy Blues,” about an evil woman who got to almost ever member of the band. You have to see/ hear these guys to believe this level of alacrity. Highly recommended to fans of Django Reinhardt… but even if you never heard of him, you’ll gasp in amazement at this musicianship.” – T Max, The Noise

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“Occidental Gypsy is a crowd pleaser. Jaunty vocals, lots of swing, and evocative violin and guitar interplay make this an act to catch and enjoy. They were a big hit at Djangofest Mill Valley ’15.” – Nicholas Lehr – Executive Promoter of Djangofest Northwest Whidbey Island and Mill Valley California

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“The biggest of all surprises is a profoundly moving two-part piece that Feldman dedicated to a Jewish hero and survivor of the Holocaust. This work is in solemn and dramatic contrast to the upbeat, clever surprises in the band’s repertoire…” — Hartford Courant article, January 26, 2015 - See our website for more


  • Over Here, 2011, Independent
  • 44070, 2017, Independent (please click on each song within soundcloud for detailed liner notes)



Occidental Gypsy has played over 200 concerts in 30 states including; Djangofest in Seattle, Mill Valley California and Washington; Rhythm & Roots Festival; Falcon Ridge Folk Festival; The Green Mill in Chicago; The Old Town School in Chicago; Nighttown in Cleveland; The Triple Door in Seattle; World Café Live in Philadelphia and Wilmington; The Ark in Ann Arbor; and The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis and many more. The band’s performances are known for their energy and witty between-song banter, giving Occidental Gypsy a “gypsified” cadre of loyal fans. Their vibrant playing, original approach and immaculate musicianship is also now gaining them new attention overseas.

Occidental Gypsy has an original approach to Gypsy Jazz that pays homage to Django Reinhardt and expands the genre to include elements of western (Occidental) sounds, including blues, Klezmer and Latin.  The quintet features prodigy Eli Bishop on violin, who performs regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Bishop enthralls audiences as the current Guinness Book of World Records fastest clapper, and is also featured in their new song “Messalina, Lover Lamb.” 

The compositions in the band’s new CD 44070 include musical journeys both complex and danceable. Most notable among them are “Vrba” and “Children’s March,” both of which are human rights-themed instrumental pieces considered modern masterworks by fans. Occidental Gypsy’s lyrical songs like “Gypsy Blues” and classic tunes like “Over the Rainbow” have a catchy vibe and fresh approach. Musician David Bromberg says of Occidental Gypsy, “these guys have great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, and high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.”   

Band Members