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Genre: Jazz, Swing


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Occidental Gypsy Jazz Quartet

About the band:

Occidental Gypsy Jazz Quartet are a refreshing extension of European café music who exemplify the exuberance and effervescence of the Swing era. Incorporating violin, vocals, and guitar harmonies along with unique arrangements; waltzes, swing, and ballads are their forte. Their well-rehearsed and lightning-fast swing make Occidental Gypsy Jazz Quartet the “archetype of authenticity” and “the Best Acoustic Gypsy Jazz Band in New England”.

About the members:

Joel Beauchemin began playing violin at the age of four. Later, he studied classical music and performed as a member of the RI Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. At 13, he picked up the trumpet, and soon after, began playing jazz in high school. He wrote his first jazz composition when he was sixteen. In 2001, Joel received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from The College of Wooster in Ohio. As a performer, Joel has had the privilege of trading solos with Ritchie Price, Greg Abate, Jack McDuff, Paul Wertico, Kenny Burrell, and Clark Terry. He has also collaborated with local artists/groups such as Spogga, Gruvis Malt, Kelly Walsh, Hooker Street Band, Thou Shalt Not, Caloroso Quartet, Mardi Garcia, and Elvis Sinatra.

Brett Feldman of New York, founder and solo guitarist of Occidental Gypsy, began his musical training at the age of ten. Beginning on the organ, which in the gypsy tradition he was taught by his mother, he switched to guitar at the age of twelve. By the age of sixteen, Brett was performing regularly at street fairs and a variety of venues in New York. When Brett was twenty, he was exposed to the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, in which he felt an immediate connection and high degree of belonging from this style of European swing. Spared by any formal musical training, Brett quickly fine-tuned his approach to jazz and began to flourish in the style of “jazz manouche”. Subsequently, for a decade, Brett played in a gypsy jazz acoustic trio Perpetuity with guitarist Frank Malley and violinist Ritchie Carr.
Ten years ago, Brett relocated to Rhode Island, where again, in the gypsy way of life,
he taught his brother Jeff Feldman to play the fretless bass. Jeff offers the “bottom” to the acoustic band with warmth and a delicate approach. Brett and Jeff are of an Eastern European family, and perform “jazz manouche” through the soul of their personal heritage.

Jonathan Sigman has been singing and playing guitar professionally for ten years. He has played in original alternative bands, both in New York and in Rhode Island. For a time, his favorite audience to play to was his children… until now. “Performing gypsy jazz music is about as much fun as white-water river rafting with a barrel full of monkeys. This style of music has been a favorite of mine for years and it’s glorious for me to be able to sing and play it with musicians of such high caliber.” Jonathan is also a member of the group Jonas’ Dream, in which he sings, plays guitar, and writes the band’s original music.