Official Biography (courtesy of blackgypsy)
They started out as a group of individuals, then later became a band of gypsies..... Now known as "blackgypsy!"
Meeting in 2003, literally onstage, Shelby J. sat in as guest vocalist and tasted the flavorful soul of future band mates Carter McLean & Derek Layes. They didn't know it then but their fate was sealed. Between gigs, these fast friends were kicking it and jamming, when they began to notice something special was forming. Adding percussionist David "Deej" DiGiantomasso & keyboardist JonSolo , they decided to make it official, and called themselves, The Providaz.
The Summer of ‘03 The Providaz travelled to Walla Walla, Washington to open for jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis & John Scofield at the NW Jazz & Wine Festival. Audiences were blown away by Shelby J's vocals & their genuine love & joy of playing music together on stage.
The talented band underwent some changes and emerged with a new name, blackgypsy. In July of ‘04, they once again took to the stage, this time in Shelby J's hometown of Greensboro, NC. Fueling the spirit of the Annual Fun Fourth Celebration, blackgypsy's electrifying stage show ignited the crowd and secured them an invitation to return the following summer. Declining the offer, band members instead continued touring with the hottest acts, and began recording independent projects with many of them.
Shelby J, David & Carter hit the road, with recording artist Martin Luther (Rebel Soul Music) while Derek & Jon Solo toured with the super talented singer/guitarist Jamie McLean (Dirty Dozen Brass Band].
blackgypsy briefly reunited in 2005 to be the backing band for the then unsigned Anthony Hamilton's artist showcase at club S.O.B.'s in NYC, with Shelby J. & Jack "J.K." King (Soultronics) on backing vocals.
In high demand, Shelby J. and these extraordinarily, gifted musicians took a pause to remember the early days they shared. 2009 saw them return to what they know and love. The gypsies were nostalgic for the pure joy they knew on stage, performing their own distinctive, soulful sound. They also discovered that there was an overwhelming demand for the music originally performed in Walla Walla & on the New York City club circuit. They knew what they had to do! The result, banging tracks ready to download as "blackgypsy Vol.1". The songs originally performed during their "early years" have been perfected, re-mixed and are ready to be heard! Enjoy!
blackgypsy is Shelby J. (vocals/lyricist), Jon Solo (keyboards/composer), Carter McLean (drums), David "Deej" DiGiantomasso (percussion/electronics), Derek Layes (bass)
blackgypsy has a flair for all things funky...download a bit of southern comfort today!