Combining traditional French gypsy songs with swinging originals Spyglass Gypsies bring the bygone days of bohemian Paris into the present with the lyrical sounds of accordion, clarinet and the percussive ‘la pompe’ of gypsy guitars. Energetic and playful, this group are sure to set feet tapping, legs dancing and smiles to the faces of all those who hear them.
Spyglass Gypsies are Richard Ashby and Cameron Jones on Manouche guitars, Loretta Palmeiro on clarinet and soprano saxophone, Andrew Scott on accordion and Shannon Haritos on double bass.
Established in 2010 by Ashby and Palmeiro, the group formed through studying and performing in previous jazz projects. “We love the history and traditions of Gypsy Jazz music” says guitarist and band leader Richard Ashby. “But we also love contributing to the genre with our own compositions, bringing a modern slant to the traditional style”.
Performing throughout Australia since 2010, the group has appeared at noted venues including the Opera House, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Vanguard, Camelot Lounge and the Brisbane Jazz Club. They have also appeared at several festivals including the Kiama Jazz & Blues festival, Illawarra Jazz and Folk festivals, Newcastle Jazz Festival and the Oz Manouche Gypsy Jazz Festival (Brisbane). Combined with supporting performances for international artists including Dutch guitar virtuoso Lollo Meier and UK guitarist Remi Harris, the group has established themselves as one of the leading ensembles in Australasian Gypsy Jazz.