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Gypsy Soul at the Historic Ashland Armory

For the past eight years Rogue Valley audiences have been treated to a holiday concert featuring the husband and wife duo of Cilette Swann and Roman Morykit who are Gypsy Soul. Part of the proceeds from the concerts have been donated to WinterSpring Center for Transforming Grief and Loss.

This year's performance will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the general-seating event. Guest musicians include Mikey Stevens, Daniel Sperry, Duane Whitcomb and Jeffrey Smith. Jefferson Public Radio's Eric Alan will emcee.

There will be a raffle at the concert with prizes donated by many local merchants. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.

The name "WinterSpring" symbolizes the seasons of life and death, particularly the transition from the darkness of winter to the reawakening, lightness, and hopefulness of spring. Building on 18 years of service, WinterSpring provides grief support and counseling for children, youth and adults throughout Jackson County, as well as information and training about the grief experience for schools, employers, people in the helping professions and community groups.

The organization is staffed primarily by volunteers, many of whom have struggled with their own personal losses. WinterSpring is a nonprofit corporation funded by donations, memorials, grants and fundraising events. Information about WinterSpring's activities will be available at the concert. See winterspring.org or call 552-0620.

Gypsy Soul's music has been characterized as a blend of acoustic rock with Celtic and Americana roots. Swann's vocals are partnered with Morykit's bass and guitar playing. Canadian/US Swann's roots are Irish and South African. Morykit was born in England to parents of Italian and Ukrainian descent. The two have traveled the world together and between them, have lived in five countries.

All of these cultures converge in their music. The duo blends its distinctive acoustic soul with a generous infusion of English blues, jazz and folk stylings that have become Gypsy Soul trademarks.

After 12 years Swann and Morykit have recorded 10 CDs. Morykit records and produces all of the group's CDs in his studio for its Off the Beaten Track label. Since breaking onto the U.S. music scene with a Top 40 Adult Contemporary hit "Silent Tears,"

Gypsy Soul has sold more than 110,000 CDs in the U.S. alone without label support. Their music has aired internationally and in several MTV specials, movies-of- the-week, radio shows and feature films including "Providence," "Felicity," "Roswell," "After Sex," "Quicksand" and others. A local TV commercial is currently airing until Dec. 13 on CNN, MSNBC, Larry King, BRAVO and others.

Gypsy Soul has performed on the same stage with Grammy award winners Los Lobos, Edie Brickell and Beth Neilsen-Chapman. KLOS Radio described their sound as "Gourmet Music." Gypsy Soul has garnered "Critics Choice" in over 65 publications. The Orange County Weekly called Gypsy Soul "one of the most brilliantly instrumented and vocally adept bands alive and kicking."

Their 2007 release earned the duo a Top charting positions on both the International New Age and Folk DJ Charts. Their latest CD is "Wanderlust," was released just months ago.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for children under 12. This is not a Christmas concert for young children. Tickets are available at 800-838-3006; online at BrownPaperTickets.com; at the Music Coop, Ashland; and Willow Creek, Jacksonville. See gypsysoul.com.

Gypsy Soul (Roman Marykit and Cilette Swann) has released its 10th CD, “Wanderlust.” - Photo courtesy of Gypsy Soul