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Local duo performs European music at library

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Photo by: Tony Sutherland | Staff Photographer
Gipsy Moon's Rey and Linda Sriro put on a free concert Jan. 21 at the San Marcos Public Library.

Gypsy Moon, a husband-and-wife musical duo from Wimberley who play a style of European music called gypsy jazz, performed Jan. 21 at the San Marcos Public Library.

Ray Sriro and his wife Linda have played music separately since they were both 14 and as a duo for the last 15 years. Ray Sriro said they have always enjoyed playing music for other people and for each other.

Linda Sriro said in the beginning, it was not easy performing music together because their styles were so different. They shared a love for gypsy music and decided to learn and perform it together.

Ray Sriro said gypsy music first originated with Django Reinhardt, a French guitarist who traveled and played around Europe. Reinhardt’s music was a mixture of American jazz and French jazz manouche.

Gypsy music was very popular during the 1930s and musicians continue to play it today, Linda Sriro said.

“It’s a traditional music that was handed down by the music itself around the campfires,” Linda Sriro said. “It was the only way the music existed—by being played.”

Ray Sriro was inspired by various gypsy bands to learn their music and introduce it to more people who aren’t familiar with its up-beat rhythms.

“I’m trying to play these as dedicated as I can to the original tunes,” Ray Sriro said. “I want people to hear them like I did.”

Linda Sriro said her husband does research and finds new songs for the two of them to play together. She said gypsy music can be really difficult to learn and requires weeks of practice.

“It’s the kind of thing where if you’re going to this, you got to have some serious chops and be dedicated,” Linda Sriro said.

Gypsy Moon does covers of other people’s songs, Linda Sriro said, though they do play a couple of original songs for their recent CDs called “Waltz Across Texas” and “Valtz Profits.”

Andrew Mazak, Texas State senior lecturer, said he performed with them on several occasions and has known them even before the two created Gypsy Moon.

“They are based out of Wimberley, but they have always been part of our local community,” Mazak said.

Ray Sriro said many people have never heard of gypsy jazz or are even aware of the types of foreign music around. He and his wife feel as if they are introducing this type of European music to western audiences.

“While we were listening to bands that never should have gotten out of their garages, overseas all this beautiful music was going on,” Ray Sriro said.

The Sriros listen to both new and old gypsy bands alike for inspiration. Ray Sriro said the two of them visit festivals honoring Reinhardt where French musicians teach various styles of playing music.

Linda Sriro hopes for people who come to their performances to walk out having enjoyed the music and wanting to hear it again.

“Were passing on a musical tradition,” Linda Sriro said. “In the early days there were no recordings, so we’re keeping it alive.”

Gypsy Moon performs music twice a month at Palmer’s Restaurant Bar and Courtyard and recently performed at the 13th Django Reinhardt Festival in Fort Worth.