With Guest Host Aer Stephen of Folk & Beyond
Fishtank Ensemble formed in 2005 in the midst of Fabrice Martinez's first visit to the US. After hunting around for musicians with whom he could jam with on his violin, Fishtank Ensemble was born., and this now four-piece outfit has since been playing everywhere from the hippest LA clubs to festivals, cultural centers, museums, parades, and even on the street. The band includes two explosive violins, the best slap bass player in the world, musical saw, flamenco and gypsy jazz guitar, trombone, opera, jazz and gypsy vocals, accordion, and one little banjolele. They tackle everything from French hot jazz to wild Serbian and Transylvanian gypsy anthems, Flamenco, and oddball originals. The band is a not to be missed event for world music lovers wanting to bathe in this intoxicating mix of music. In 2010, they released, on their own label, Woman In Sin. The third album from Fishtank Ensemble finds the band writing and performing at their peak. Transylvanian Gypsy Anthems, 1920's swing, Romanian Folk medleys, Rhythm and Blues Classics, Bulgarian Odd Time Signatures, Flamenco Rumbas, Swing Jazz, Serbian party tunes, Secret Manouche music and original songs are seemlessly blended together in this quintessential offering from a leading Gypsy Band.
The dynamic, virtuosic, fiery and peripatetic quartet that comprises Fishtank Ensemble take their roots both from their own varied musical and national backgrounds, as well as from their adventures and travels. The American singer, Ursula Knudson, sang opera on the streets and town squares of Italy, until she found a love of gypsy music. Their French violinist, Fabrice Martinez, is from Paris, voyaged around all of Europe in a handmade mule-drawn caravan for ten years, and studied with gypsy violinists, collecting music and experiences. Their Serbian bass player, Djordje Stijepovic, has spent time playing with gypsies in the local Romany bands when he was 13 until moving to the US, where he joined a band with Lemmy from Motorhead and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats, and aptly defends his reputation as the best slap bass player in the world. L. A. bred guitar player, Doug Smolens, used to hang out with Billy Idol and Slash before becoming hooked on flamenco and running off to Spain to learn from masters in the caves around Granada and honed his craft as a master of flamenco and gypsy jazz guitar. It is said that whatever wild time you can expect from this band, it will never match their out of this world performance! You can be the judge of that yourself later this evening across the Blue Ridge and into the valley at Staunton’s Mockingbird Music Hall, 832 W Beverly, at 8 PM.
|“Cross pollinated gypsy music….one of the most thrilling young acts on the planet.” ~ The LA Weekly|
Submitted by Aer Stephen, WTJU Folk