Espresso! plays American Swing and fiery Gypsy Jazz in & around Boulder, Colorado. Upbeat, classy music.
Gypsy jazz has captured the public's imagination for decades. In Paris, 1945, the legendary Django Reinhardt is regarded worldwide as the greatest guitar player ever. His guitar virtuosity is matched by Stéphane Grappelli's on violin, and the pair form The Hot Club of Paris. In Gypsy jazz tradition, many American swing tunes from the 40s & earlier became part of the repertoire.
Today, the Colorado-based band Espresso! merges these same two musical traditions with red-hot interpretations of American swing and Gypsy jazz favorites. The traditions of the past come alive with powerful instrumental leads and vocals in French and English. Very danceable, this music is infectious. "You owe it to your ears."
Espresso! includes an abundance of Colorado talent: Bill Pontarelli (clarinet), Jordan Ramsey (mandolin), Emily Reynolds (rhythm guitar), and Duane Webster (bass). Bill and Emily have performed Gypsy Jazz and American Swing for many years at venues in and around Boulder and Denver, Colorado. Jordan Ramsey came on board in 2010, greatly enriching the new group dynamic. Bass man Duane Webster has been putting it all together since 2016 to create our saucy swing sound. We have played this music for years and love keeping the tradition of American swing music and Gypsy jazz alive.
Bill Pontarelli is a super star on the clarinet and offers tasty vocal stylings. A consummate musician, we call him the best in the West for good reason—his red-hot phrasing and stunning tone are clear, clean and wonderfully appealing. Bill also offers rich and engaging vocal tunes in his unique style. He has been the 'first call' player in Denver for decades and also plays with Flexigrass, Pete Warnick's Colorado-based jazzgrass band and numerous other groups.
Jordan Ramsey is an award winning mandolinst and teacher residing in the Front Range area of Colorado. Jordan is the 2016 champion of the National Mandolin Contest in Winfield, KS. He also won the 2008 RockyGrass Mandolin Competition. His dynamic styling and lead lines range from subtle and artful to explosive, the perfect counterpoint to Bill's clarinet.
Check his video here playing with The David Grisman Folk Trio at the Boulder Theater.
Emily Reynolds' swinging jazz chord chops are evident in the swing and Gypsy jazz genres where rhythm is central to the music. Up and down the neck of the guitar, she sets a strong rhythmic tone. Her powerhouse vocals are featured in Espresso!, with tunes in both English and French. Band manager for Espresso!, Emily also played with the Swing Chicks, a Colorado-based swing band and sings three-part 40s tunes with the TriTones in Seattle.
Duane Webster is a fabulous bassist from Boulder, Colorado. His dynamic leads and steady rhythm holding down that bottom end have made him a popular player with a wide variety of bands exemplifying many musical styles of music over the years. He has played with so many of the really great players and was featured in the original Ophelia Swing Band along with Tim O'Brien, Dan Sadowski and others. Currently he plays with Sweet Spot Trio and VooDoo Lily. He has played with Espresso! for many years.