gypsy jazz

How the Texas Gypsies Began

In 2003 Steve decided after years of playing professionally in various rock, pop, country, smooth jazz and other popular modern styles of music, he decided to start learning about early jazz music and jazz guitar styles. This brought about his discovery of the 1930’S Gypsy Jazz guitarist “Django Reinhardt” and his band with violinist Stephane Grapelli “The Quintet of the Hot Club of France”. Upon hearing this music and also the music from the 1999 Woody Allen movie Sweet and Lowdown he bought his first “Gypsy Jazz” style guitar and began to learn this style of guitar playing.

One day while selling an upright bass he somehow acquired, he met bass player Larry Reed and upon seeing Steve’s strange looking Gypsy guitar, he asked him about what is was. Steve told him about his interest in learning to play Django Gypsy jazz music and that he was going to jam with a violin player he knew from a country band sometime on that music.

Larry asked if he could come and play bass and also said he knew a guitar player that could play rhythm guitar he could bring and that they were in a Western Swing band. The 4 of them met and attempted to play the Django Gypsy jazz music and had fun. It turned out the rhythm guitar player Erik Swanson was mostly a singer too and new many Western Swing songs that were the same as the Gypsy Jazz songs in feel so the band also played some Bob Wills Texas Swing songs!

Well the guys kept showing up at Steve’s house to jam and finally he said…”Do you want to be a band”? “Maybe we can play a live show sometime”! The band started playing live in 2004 and now 12 years and 4 CD’s later they have performed over 1000 shows all over the USA ,Mexico and as far away as Dubai!

Though some of the band members have changed over the years, the band has grown from an acoustic 4pc band to a group that can perform as a both a small group and a large hi energy big band with a horn section playing from Gypsy Jazz, Western Swing, Big Band Swing music, Rockabilly, even Pop and Rock if needed! Their original music has been in several TV shows, Movies and advertisements. They have won awards and were selected to the Texas and Midwest touring artist rosters. Not bad for a band that was never really supposed to happen!