Gypsophilia – “Horska”
Gypsophilia is a dynamic instrumental ensemble from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They started out as a Django Reinhardt tribute band, but grew substantially over the years as they began to incorporate elements of klezmer, funk, classical music, indie rock, and bebop into their gypsy jazz sound. Remember when jazz was for dancing? When it wasn’t reserved for fancy restaurants? Gypsophilia encompasses the exciting spontaneity of jazz groups from the past.
This ensemble is by no means a nostalgia act. Their typical audience is filled with people of all ages. The older generation who enjoyed the swing era stand side by side with young people hearing gypsy jazz for the first time. Fans of all ages are united by their love for the energetic presence of this smoking septet. The band includes Ross Burns, Alec Frith, Nick Wilkinson (guitars), Gina Burgess (violin), Adam Fine (double bass), Matt Myer (trumpet), and Sageev Oore (piano, keyboards, accordion, melodica).
Coming off the success of their 2011 record Constellation, Gypsophilia will release Horska, a six song EP, on June 1st. This CD continues to broaden the world of gypsy jazz. Three guitars and piano add layers of rhythms and harmonies for trumpet and violin to sing over while the double bass holds it all together. “Horska” wraps ska, klezmer and tango together in funky dissonance accentuated by wild electric piano. From the exuberant, swinging “Bir Hakeim,” to the subdued and reflective “Oh My Oma,” Gypsophilia switch gears with ease. “Corentin Cariou” features a quickening klezmer romp which lifts off and descends into a waltz before picking up again. “Stickm” is a mysterious song which slides along in a slow swing before strutting proudly then returning to a sneaking pace. The dub remix of “Horska” offers some excellent melodica from concert pianist and computer science professor Sageev Oore.
Here is a band dedicated to the fun, eclectic music they create. While some instrumental ensembles struggle to keep the audience’s attention, guitarist Ross Burns says the band is determined to get people dancing.
“Instrumental music can be harder for people to connect with. It can be a challenge to get emotionally vested for audiences, but we work really hard to connect actively, to grab them by the shirt collars and make them dance.” – Ross Burns
Listen to “Horska” above and check out a terrific cafe performance below. Be sure to check out their amazing stop motion animation video for “Agricola & Sarah.” Another animated video is being prepared for “Horska,” which looks tremendous. Check out some progress pictures at Gypsophilia’s Tour Log.
Speaking of tours, Gypsophilia is setting out on a mega North American tour and will arrive in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 6th to perform at The Rock Shop. They will also hit Avenue A to play Drom on Friday, June 7th. Check Gypsophilia’s website to see when they will be in your neighborhood.