The name Occidental Gypsy (Western gypsy) embodies the concept behind Gypsy Pop. The group has taken the Gypsy sound that originated in Eastern Europe and brought it Over Here to blend it seamlessly with contemporary American music. Interestingly, Gypsy Swing was created by taking American Jazz to the East and blending it with the Gypsy Folk tradition. Now almost a century later Occidental Gypsy is bringing the music back home.
In my role as sound man for The Showcase of Original Music, I am privileged to be able to hear many fine and talented musicians from Greensboro, NC and surrounding areas. As The Showcase's name has made its way around the internet, musicians from other states have started inquiring about performing there. One of the featured acts appearing at the next event, "Occidental Gypsy", from Boston, Mass. is a case in point. OG heard about The Creative Center via the original music page on the center's web site. They inquired about the venue and after deliberating among themselves, TURNED DOWN a gig at another area venue, opting instead to perform at The Showcase if arrangements could be made... and they were.
It's a dilemna at times when considering The "S.O.M." mission is to present and promote local talent above all else. The Showcase team has wrestled that issue and generally decide that, when an opportunity presents itself, having fine acts from other places is not such a bad thing. In fact it's good, great even! It allows us to see what's being created elsewhere, up close and personal on our stage. It gives fellow musicians a look at more variety and interpretations of creative song writing and performing. It's educational AND entertaining for everyone. The Showcase is about building community. The reality these days, whether you like it or not, is that the internet has made the world a much smaller place and that the "community" I speak of now includes a lot more territory than it did before Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and others came along chasing their dreams, building their wealth, oh... and changing the world in the process.
In the face of the new and ever burgeoning techno-world we now navigate, it is refreshing to see that music with a deep heritage and long-standing tradition is being kept alive, infused with new ideas and energy and not only being accepted, but lauded at every turn. Check out their new CD "Over Here" and hear for yourself. Maybe it is that subtle reminder of days gone by that resonates deep within us. Who knows? It's not as point worth pondering long, for if you do, you'll miss the music. Go see the show and tell me what you think about it afterwards.