Since 1995 Ultraswing have worked towards achieving a sound and repertoire which reflects the great Gypsy-Swing and European musical traditions.
Matt Guez, Jonny Hepbir and Dan Sheppard originally formed the band through Brighton jazz circles and a shared passion for the music of Django Reinhardt and the contemporary Gypsy Jazz scene. Their commitment to forming music of style and quality over the years has been consistent and much appriciated by many audiences within a wide range of contexts, be it jazz club, festival, wedding or private party.
Ultraswing are a very flexible line-up and are available to play in numerous combinations to suit particular events. They work as Duo, Trio or Quartet combinations with the addition of violin, accordian, wind instrument or vocalist. The accordianist is also available to play ‘strolling’ accordian music for themed events such as French nights.
Jonny Hepbir – Guitar
Jonny has established himself as one of the UK’s most authentic guitarists of the genre. Assigned to US label Refine Records, Jonny’s career has seen him play with such masters as Birelli Lagrene and Stochelo Rosenberg. A composer in his own right, Jonny has produced a number of solo CDs and runs a series of technique master classes. Dubbed the ‘English Virtuoso’ by Guitar magazine, Jonny is a name to watch on the ever growing Gypsy Swing scene.
Matt Guez – Guitar
Over the years Matt has enjoyed playing a variety of styles from rock to bluegrass. Son of a successful French musician, Matt’s own musical path started in his late teens. The music of Django Reinhardt was ever present at home and it was a visit to Samois sur Seine that convinced Matt to direct his energy toward the Jazz Monouche style. Fortunate in meeting and collaborating with like-minded musicians, Matt formed Ultraswing in 1995.
Dan Sheppard – Double Bass
Working the jazz scene for 15 years, played with the great Jimmy Scott and his band The Jazz Expressions at Ronnie Scott’s, guitar heros John Etheridge and Jim Mullen, tenor titan Bobby Wellins, reeds supremo Alan Barnes, former Oscar Peterson drummer Bobby Durham, former McCoy Tyner drummer George Johnson. Other regular bands include Brighton Jazz Allstars, Rockin in Rhythm, Candela and Hai la Drum. Also done plenty of cruises and visited many countries in the process.
Pete Watson – Accordion
Pete enjoys Jazz, French and Eastern Music and has travelled extensively playing the accordion. Pete met up with Ultraswing in 2000 and has collaborated with other groups such as Vipers Dream, Balkanatics and Yash Bash. Pete teaches accordion and piano in schools whilst spending his spare time helping to run the Crypt Jazz Club in London and Stage Two at Ealing Jazz Festival.