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THE BAND

Andy Reich

// violin

Andy is a classically trained violinist who has played in folk bands, Klezmer bands, orchestras, and rock bands. Several years ago Andy began attending Django in June, a music camp dedicated to the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. As his enthusiasm for the music expanded, Andy discovered that there were like-minded musicians living close by in Rhode Island. Andy set up a regular schedule of gypsy jam sessions, and Gypsy Caravan was born from those sessions.  

Ivan Wolfson

// guitar

 

Ivan has been playing acoustic guitar since his teens. In 2014, he was introduced to swing music at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, where he studied with guitarist Sylvia Herold (formerly of the Hot Club of San Francisco). This led to his unwavering interest in the music of Django Reinhardt. He has since studied with Jack Soref (Django in June) and Greg Ruby (Swannanoa Gathering). Out of the spotlight of the soloists, Ivan is content in the knowledge that without the steady rhythm of le pompe, there would be no gypsy jazz.  

Ben Andrews

// guitar

 

Ben got his first guitar when he was nine and has over four decades of professional experience in performing, arranging, composing and recording. He toured with Blues guitarist Nick Stump, Hot Club band “Swing 39” and has performed with Duke Robillard, John Jorgenson and Gonzalo Bergera. He is the founder and organizer of the“Django Jamboree” music festival in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music.

Bill Lapola

// accordion

 

Bill began the study of accordion at age five, and has performed a variety of genres of music.  Since 2005, he has played primarily in the European café jazz tradition (playing gypsy, swing, tango, bossa, klezmer, polka, as well as his original compositions).  At Django in June, in 2015, Bill met Andy, which led to the Bay Spring Gypsy Jazz Caravan. 

Larry Berren

// keyboard

Larry started playing jazz piano at 25. For three years he was able to study intensively and practice six hours a day, every day. Tough way to make a living, though. So, he went to law school and kept playing while also teaching piano and jazz theory. He also plays with the Bebop Docs and was the piano player and music director for the Providence Journal Follies for over 35 years. His favorite piano players are Barry Harris and Dr. John. 

Steve Buka

// clarinet, sax

Steve has been playing clarinet and saxophone since childhood.  He received training at the New England Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music, and gigged with bands around the Boston area for years, including the Hub Cats.  A Gypsy highlight was opening for Stephane Grappelli, sitting in with the Paris-based Five O’clock Jazz Group. 

John DeBossu 

// upright bass

Classically trained, John was educated in Geneva, Switzerland. While there, he performed in jazz groups in France and Switzerland and studied with Blaise Waelday, the former principal bassist with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. After moving to the Boston area, John studied with Miroslav Vitous, the founding bass player of Weather Report, and later with Paul Del Nero, a respected jazz bassist in the Boston. John also performs with the New Providence Big Band, various jazz bands and R&B groups.

John Rufo

// guitar, mandolin

John was hooked on music as a child when the Beatles led the British Invasion into America. He’s played guitar, mandolin and electric bass in various bands including the Providence Mandolin Orchestra. The mandolin brought him closer to the gypsy swing interpretations of David Grisman and Stephane Grappelli, which eventually led him to Bay Spring Gypsy Caravan.  Nowadays, John has his picks packed and ready to go whenever the caravan beckons.