One Leg Up
Gig Seeker Pro

One Leg Up

Band Jazz Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"One Leg Up"

One Leg Up plays Gypsy jazz with conviction. On the sextet's debut Gypsy Blue (Minor Swing Records), the solos come fast and furious from their two solo guitarists, mandolinist, and clarinetist. This adds up to an interesting and varied voice from the devoted band on covers of Django melodies, American jazz standards, and hot Latin pieces such as a rollicking "Tico Tico." - MD - Vintage Guitar Magazine, August 2005, Vol. 19 No. 10

"Jazz and swing are the thing for One Leg Up"

For John Stineman, something happened when he heard the music of legendary Gypsy French guitarist Django Reinhardt.

“I thought it was the most incredible thing I had ever heard,” says Stineman, lead and rhythm guitarist and band founder for Asheville’s own Gypsy-jazz and swing band, One Leg Up. “I decided then that I better find out what Django was all about. I became really dedicated to studying Django and his music. It really moved me.”

Reinhardt’s happy-go-lucky style of gypsy jazz swing, as well as his vagabond existence, have influenced and intrigued countless other musicians the world over. Stineman has also done some traveling, moving to Asheville from Gainesville, Fla., where he started One Leg Up with guitarist Jim Tanner.

“(Jim and I) played together once and hit it off pretty well,” Stineman recalls, “then we added Mike Guzalak on clarinet and Daniel Coolik on mandolin, and had ourselves a band.” Rounding out the signature sound of One Leg Up is Cary Fridley on upright bass, and Steve Trisman, who sits in periodically on violin.

One Leg Up has established itself as the weekly house band at the Café Soleil, performing their infectious mix of improvisational jazz swing to bigger and bigger crowds every Saturday night. Their Friday night show at the Grey Eagle celebrates the release of the group’s new CD, “Gypsy Blue (Minor Swing Records).” Like Stineman, each member of the band has a passion for early jazz and a healthy sense of adoration for Reinhardt for his contributions to the jazz world.

“I got into Django’s music as a teenager when I first started playing guitar,” says Coolik. “It’s been a great opportunity to learn from all these older guys, like Django, who were constantly evolving musically.”

“His technique and his ideas were far ahead of anybody else’s,” says Stineman. “Django did things with the unamplified acoustic guitar that no one else had ever done.”

“Gypsy Blue” is a reverent tribute to the great Reinhardt, as well as European jazz and swing bands and composers from the early 20th century. The recording plants its feet firmly in French and European traditional jazz music, yet with enough of a carefree, whimsical nature to appeal to the romantic gypsy in any of us. The arrangements crackle to life, accentuated by the lively musicianship from each of these talented players.

“I think we made a very honest recording,” says Stineman. “It’s very much a representation of what we do live.”
- Asheville Citizen Times


Gypsy Blue LP
Pere Lachaise LP
Songs available as MP3's on our website and our Myspace page,


Feeling a bit camera shy


They have been performing together since 2003.This style of jazz is popular in clubs and festivals throughout Europe, yet it is underrepresented in America. One Leg Up is one of the few bands that plays this music in the southeast.These seasoned professional musicians came together to play gypsy jazz from diverse backgrounds including old-time/bluegrass music, salsa, reggae, and modern jazz. As One Leg Up, they accompanied Spanish gypsy jazz guitarist Pere Soto while he toured the United States in 2004. In May of 2005, the One Leg Up did a concert/book show with Michael Dregni author of the new acclaimed biography Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend. Also, their live version of "Tico Tico" was put on WNCW-FM's Crowd Around the Mic Volume 9, which is compilation of the best music that was recorded live on WNCW in that year. They continue to perform for acoustic music appreciators through out the Southeast at festivals, clubs, dance events, and any place where the caravan stops.