The guys from the Zzymzzy Quartet have simple ambitions: they just want to play it like it was when it was unamplified, melodic, swinging, dreamy, full of sly surprise. From the Prohibition through the Second Big War, the glory days of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington are being recaptured humbly and with humor in San Diego by four musicians who know it don’t mean a thing without that swing:
- guitar, vocals – Beston Barnett
- clarinet – Matt Gill
- upright bass – Paul Hormick
- guitar, lead vocals – Pete Miesner
The Zzymzzy Quartet takes its name from a hypothetical “last word” in the dictionary: thus, their tagline, “The Last Word in Gypsy Swing.” The “Gypsy” sound is heard in much of the guitar work, heavily influenced by the stylings of French Gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt, but the group also pays tribute to the Swing Era with classic standards and idiomatic originals. Since the Zzymzzy Quartet came together in 2004, they’ve played dances, parties, weddings, festivals, art openings, and events throughout Southern California to unanimous enthusiasm, carving out a name for themselves as a tasty dance band and a classy addition to every wedding. In 2017, ART HURTS Records released their second CD, Petite Fleur which, on top of inspired playing and elegant arrangements, features cameos from a variety of beloved San Diego musicians.