Fabrice Vignati grew up in France listening to and playing the rich French cultural music, growing to love Gypsy Jazz, and even the revival of the Rockabilly sounds in the 1980s. Tracy grew up in Georgia exposed to country and rural cultural music as well as developing a love for Jazz. “When I was 13 or 14, I got a job singing at a little amusement park in Georgia where I learned a lot of country songs,” Tracy recalled.
The two met while playing together in a Big Band and immediately hit it off. The romantic sparks quickly grew into collaborative sparks musically as well. “We had played in the band for about a year, then all of a sudden, we just took to each other,” Tracy recalled. They each had respective separate musical stuff going on, but it wouldn’t be long before the pursuit was mutual. “Jazz wasn’t growing enough for me,” Tracy remembered. “So we decided to just see what we came up with. And because he was playing so much of the Gypsy Django stuff, it was inspirational. It made me want to grab my Clarinet again.”
In 2009 they finally got their musical minds together, and the mojo just flowed. “It was a progressive approach,” Tracy recalled. “But over time I got more comfortable with the blending and it became obvious that we were on to something.” The result was a fusion of American and European musical traditions they’ve coined, Gypsybilly.
According to the article penned by Fabrice and Tracy, Gypsybilly “is a blend of English and French vocals with Gypsy orchestration including acoustic guitar, clarinet, accordion and violin, swingin’ drivin’ rockin’ drum beats, with modern/vintage instrumentation of electric guitar and upright slap bass as used in Rock-a-Billy. In addition, the Southern twang of honky tonk-esque piano and pedal steel season the overall sound.”
Now playing as The Vignatis, this Los Angeles based ensemble is set to release their fourth collection of original Gypsybilly music. The album, Red, White, and Blue: Gypsybilly Vol. 4, is appropriately set for a July release.
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