From Paris, France, to Paris, Texas

International Musician, June 2007 | Go to article overview

From Paris, France, to Paris, Texas


"There's nothing else like it around," says Steve Curry of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) offering his 30-second elevator speech describing The Texas Gypsies. "We do gypsy jazz, European style, but what's different is that we have a lot of vocal songs. We write a lot of our own material in the 1930s style, but with more of the pop influence. The Texas Swing sound is in there too. The mix creates its own little sound that's fun and energetic."

The gypsy jazz style originated in France, and thanks to the work of 1930's era guitarist Django Reinhart, the genre became popular. Though the style has its largest audience in Europe, this jazz sound has a notable fan base around the world, including a growing number of fans in Texas. At least, Curry hopes so.

"This thing just kind of took off because it was so different," Curry says. "We play a lot of festivals, and though the sound might be new to the audience, by the third or fourth song, we've won them over. They're interested in the style because it's upbeat, and we've even taken some hit songs and reworked them in this style, such as that old disco hit, 'I Will Survive'." It made a perfect gypsy jazz-style song, says Curry. "Restyling familiar tunes is a good way to introduce people to Reinhart's style of music."

Curry didn't foresee the part he'd play bringing gypsy jazz to the masses because when he started his band, he was fairly new to the genre himself, although his stint as a session musician in Los Angeles made him well versed in a variety of styles. …

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