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About FiddleBop

Jo sings! FiddleBop, live at the Hay Globe in January 2020 FiddleBop! Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper

FiddleBop plays Gypsy jazz: re-imagined for the 2020s! On violin, Spanish guitar, keyboard, and fretless bass. And we sing too, with four voices in harmony.

Wales-based FiddleBop's jazz is sophisticated but not pretentious or stuffy. Is danceable but not rhythmically boring. Has plenty of exciting improvised solos but is still tuneful and melodic.

And FiddleBop's "Gypsy jazz: re-imagined" is drawn from all of the genre's century-long history. Look forward to FiddleBop's unique beggars-in-velvet treatment of get-up-and-dance jazz from the 1920s (when "jazz was king"), 1930s chilli-hot swing, bop and cool post-bop, and jazz-flavoured classic pop, folk-jazz, and our own creations. All with Gypsy zing and passion!

Dave Favis-Mortlock, FiddleBop's violinist and general loudmouth, at a gig. Photo: Judy Waldman

Gypsy jazz: re-imagined

"Gypsy jazz: re-imagined"? So what is this?

Well, for the long answer then take a look here. But the short answer is that FiddleBop plays Gypsy jazz — which was jointly created by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in 1930s Paris — updated for the 2020s. Re-imagined, updated, re-invented. Brought up to date. But still with all the pizzazz and excitement, the "zing", of the original. Which comes naturally, since we love what we play! And since we are (ahem!) pretty good musicians.

Jo Davies, FiddleBop's guitarist, in a mad moment

All of which is why — please excuse us, we're about to blow our own trumpet (and mix our own metaphors) — audiences love FiddleBop's unique Gypsy-tinged flavour of jazz music. Music which can be sweet, chilled, even mysterious at times. Such as:

  • our delicate instrumental explorations of the great John Coltrane's exquisite "Naima"
  • our bluesy takes of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" and "Well, You Needn't"
  • classic cool jazz by Miles Davis, "So What"
  • FiddleBop's nostalgic close-harmony vocals in Paul McCartney's "Here, There, and Everywhere" and Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek"
  • jazz-favoured folk tunes including "Give Me Your Hand" written c. 1603 by harpist Ruairdi Dáll Ó Catháin
  • Jo's poetic late-night-smoky-bar "Thirteen-and-a-half Days In The Desert", and Paul's sea-soliloquy "Sailing All Alone".
Graeme Lamble, FiddleBop's bassist extraordinaire. Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper Paul Stevens, FiddleBop's keyboard whiz. Photo: Jo Davies

And music which, with its roots in the fiery Gypsy jazz tradition, is hot unto cooking. FiddleBop will get your feet stomping and your heart thumping (in a good way, of course) during:

  • "The Charleston" from the early days of jazz
  • traditional Gypsy jazz tunes "Minor Swing", "Dark Eyes", and the more modern "Swing Gitan"
  • Gypsy jazz staples such as "Dinah", "Bei Mir Bistdu Shein", and "Sweet Georgia Brown"
  • Irish reel "Drowsy Maggie" and Eastern European rouser "Odessa Bulgar"
  • Duke Ellington's classic "It Don't Mean a Thing"
  • the John Coltrane Quartet's interpretation of "My Favourite Things"
  • FiddleBop's searing take of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia". Yaaay!

But don't — as the saying goes — just take our word for it: see our reviews.

FiddleBop is:

So how about having FiddleBop make some "Gypsy jazz: re-imagined" at your event or party? We're friendly, we don't bite, and we cost less than you might think.

Why not check us out at Midsummer Music logo or Book Entertainment logo? Or you could email us or phone us (01982 560726 / 07968 950870) for a quote.


Next: FiddleBop's Gypsy jazz: updated

Gypsy jazz: re-imagined!