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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 — like the first Gypsy jazz bands — FiddleBop's "Gypsy jazz: re-imagined" is highly eclectic. Just as in the 1930s, the Quintette du Hot Club de France created amazing music based on current and past pop tunes, traditional Gypsy melodies, their own compositions, even some J S Bach... so FiddleBop's repertoire is similarly wide-ranging. We play Gypsy-flavoured jazz drawn from all of the genre's century-long history. That's get-up-and-dance jazz from the 1920s, 1930s chilli-hot swing, and cool post-bop. Plus jazz-flavoured classic pop, folk-jazz, and our own creations. All played and sung 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, and very eclectic. 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. 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). Our live sets include:

  • "The Charleston" from the early days of jazz; and swing stalwarts "Crazy Rhythm", "Dinah", and Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing"
  • Traditional Gypsy jazz tunes "Minor Swing", "Dark Eyes"; and Gypsy jazz staples "Bei Mir Bistdu Shein", and "Sweet Georgia Brown"
  • Our interpretations of the John Coltrane Quartet's exquisite "Naima" and "My Favourite Things"; bluesy versions of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" and "Well, You Needn't"; classic cool jazz by Miles Davis, "So What"; and FiddleBop's searing take of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia"
  • Nostalgic close-harmony vocals on Paul McCartney's "Here, There, and Everywhere", Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek", and Jo's gospel-like "Still With Me"
  • Jazz-favoured folk tunes such as "Give Me Your Hand" (c. 1603), Irish reel "Drowsy Maggie", and Ukrainian rouser "Odessa Bulgar"
  • Jo's poetic late-night-smoky-bar "Thirteen-and-a-half Days In The Desert", Paul's highly memorable "Waterfall Sings", and Dave's reggae polemic "Party Politics (Muckraking Once Again)".
Graeme Lamble, FiddleBop's bassist extraordinaire. Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper Paul Stevens, FiddleBop's keyboard whiz. Photo: Jo Davies

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!