The New Orleans gypsy jazz band ZAZOU CITY synthesizes jazz styles from two continents, creating a combustion of sound that swings beyond the sweltering heat and foggy nights of the Big Easy. It combines the European jazz influences of Django Reinhardt and company with those of American giants ranging from Louis Armstrong to the beboppers. Rounding out the set, you’ll also find songs involving what New Orleans jazz innovator Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge–from gypsy bossa to tango, as well as the acclaimed original compositions of bandleader Bart Ramsey.
The band’s latest personnel consists of Bart Ramsey on accordion, piano and vocals, Raphaël Bas on guitar, Georgi Petrov on guitar, Pascal Valcasara on tenor saxophone, and Tim Paco on bass. Frequently called-upon alumni members include Matthew Shilling (alto saxophone), Neti Vaan (violin), Charlie Miller (trumpet), Aurora Nealand (soprano sax), Matt Bell (guitar), Chris Edmunds (guitar), Nathan Lambertson (bass), Tarik Hassan (bass), Oliver Bonie (alto saxophone), and Bryce Eastwood (tenor sax).
The band works in various sizes, from duo to six-piece bands at clubs, weddings, private parties and festivals. It remains a mainstay at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival, and played in The New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival (“Jazzfest”) in 2012. The Zazou City Trio has done a plethora of gigs though the agency Carl Mack Presents. The band’s current five-piece configuration has been blowing the roofs off of clubs in the Crescent City, including clubs like 3 Muses and The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street.
Zazou City has released two cds,” Liars Moon” in 2010, and “The Man Who Couldn’t Dream” in 2012.