Based in Charlottesville,Virginia, the Olivarez Trio, Rick Olivarez, Dave Berzonsky and Jeff Cheers, create a vibrant acoustic blend of French Gypsy jazz styles mixed with eastern European folklore, waltzes, early jazz improvisations, with a sampling of everything from Classical and Baroque themes to Beatles melodies. It's a new roots music that only the Olivarez Trio can provide.
The Olivarez Trio
Formed in the summer of 2007, The Olivarez Trio presents the sound of modern day Parisian Gypsy Jazz while maintaining a solid grounding in the tradition begun with Django Reinhardt in the late 1930′s. The Trio consists of Rick Olivarez playing lead guitar, with Jeff Cheers on rhythm guitar, and Dave Berzonsky on upright bass.
Rick Olivarez began his study of the music of Django Reinhardt in rural Utah in the early 1980′s, and further studied Eastern European Gypsy music upon his arrival in New Orleans in 1990. He led the trio Tzigano for a year in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He arrived in Charlottesville in 1994, where he teaches music when not performing with the Trio.
Rhythm Guitarist Jeff Cheers, one of the most respected music instructors in central Virginia, is originally from Baltimore, arriving in Charlottesville in 1999. He has performed with many local acts and is adept at many seemingly disparate styles of music.
Bassist Dave Berzonsky hails from Springfield, Virginia and has lived in Charlottesville since 1992. He too, is well versed in many different styles of music, with a special emphasis on the indigenous folk traditions of Mexico and Peru. He and his wife Estela operate Blue Ridge Music together and Luminaria Cville. Dave also teaches in his spare time.