Get your dancing shoes shined and ready Duncan, because you’re in for a toe-tapping, swinging time when The Texas Gypsies come to town this weekend.
There’s no doubt some gypsy magic is at work when the Dallas-Fort Worth based band turns out their unique blend of Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz, Bob Wills’ western swing, as well as almost anything in between. Chisholm Trail Arts Council presents the fourth act of its annual CTAC Live concert series at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Simmons Center Chisholm Trail Hall.
Hosting the event, which is sponsored by Duncan Bank of Commerce, in the big ballroom instead of the theater, offers the crowd plenty of room to kick up their heels. Though the concert is open to all ages, there will be an adults-only beer garden. All CTAC members will receive one free drink ticket.
Each member of The Texas Gypsies have an impressive résumé and only fate could be credited for bringing them together. Steve Curry, guitar and vocals, is an accomplished artist who has toured or recorded with The Jacksons and Jeff Buckley and his guitar skills can be heard on several television and film tracks for Disney, Fox and more.
Curry said starting a band wasn’t part of the plans when he and a few others interested in “gypsy jazz,” or “hot jazz” as it’s called now, began playing together in 2003. They now play an average of 150 shows a year across the nation.
“We just started out jamming together and it was fun, so we kept doing it,” he said. “We first started playing shows in 2004 and it just took off. We’re different than anything else out there.”
Though they started off being influenced by 1930s jazz and western swing, the award-winning band has added more styles of music into their sets. However, jazz and western swing are still the base sounds for most of their music because of how well they mix together.
“They’re really similar and do the same songs in their own interpretation,” Curry said. “We do anything now and cover a wide range of music and we write original music in our retro style.”
It’s not only the band’s sound that promotes a retro atmosphere, but their attire as well. Decked out in fedoras and a few pinstripe suits, The Texas Gypsies look the part. Coming to Duncan will be Curry on guitar and vocals, Mike Sizer on saxophone and clarinet, Andrew Griffith on drums, John Hewitt on bass and vocals, and Brook Wallace on violin and vocals.
“We’re going to play stuff you can dance to from swing dance to fox trot and the waltz,” Curry said.
“We’ll mix it up depending on the crowd and what they like. If you want to come out, you’ll definitely be entertained because our music is a good and different experience, something you may not be as familiar with.”
The band will also be leading a session with Duncan students earlier in the day, where they will speak on pre-war era jazz, gypsy jazz and western swing.
“A lot of kids aren’t exposed to this American art form and it’s something to educate them on it,” said Curry.
Tickets for the concert and dance are available at the Simmons Center, the CTAC office or by calling 580-252-4160. Through Friday, CTAC is offering special ticket pricing if you purchase tickets for both The Texas Gypsies and CTAC’s final concert of the season Home Free on April 4.