Originally Published: October 6, 2011 10:17 p.m.
Award-winning acoustic soul duo Gypsy Soul is bringing its "remarkably bold, rich sound" to Prescott on Sunday for a performance at the Prescott Center for the Arts.
Cilette Swann and Roman Morykit's appearance is part of The Folk Sessions series, directed by Tom Agostino, who will open the show at 7:30 p.m. on the theater's main stage.
"Boy, they're good," Agostino said of the musical pair. "Cilette is one of the finest singers I have ever been in the room with."
How the two came to be a duo is a story in itself. When they met in 1990, both were hunting for a direction to take from the "stifling" path they were on. Swann, a Canadian/American, was learning to sing in French phonetically, and was performing in Paris jazz clubs. Meanwhile, Morykit had been living in London, and a major recording contract fell apart mid-recording.
As fate would have it, Swann and Morykit met up in Edinburgh, Scotland, realized a kinship, started writing songs together, and Gypsy Soul was born.
Swann and Morykit write all their own melodies, Agostino said - Morykit the music and Swann the lyrics.
The pair's website says, "Although Gypsy Soul's musical roots may be found in Celtic and Americana realms, wilder and deeper edges of rock, blues, jazz and world music complete their sonic tapestry."
Reviewers describe Gypsy Soul as "a cross between Sheryl Crow and Eva Cassidy meets Coldplay and Fleetwood Mac."
Of themselves, Swann and Morykit say their performances "are a bit of everything - not genre-specific," but rather "elements from different kinds of music, making us really unique."
The couple married about a year after they met, and their life together "is a pretty magical existence - a strong, true love-making music," Swann said. "We feel blessed with a rich life ... and incredible experiences."
These life experiences inspire the duo's lyrics, Swann said. Morykit finds inspiration from their travels. "I am a very visual composer," he said. "I write soundscapes... memories and feelings from on the road."
Swann and Morykit love Arizona and perform here a couple of times a year. One such trip from Los Angeles inspired their album "Superstition Highway." That landscape is "so expansive and so heart-expanding" that it catalyzed most of this album, they said.
Each audience that watches a Gypsy Soul performance can look forward to fresh arrangements for the pieces they perform - Swann singing and Morykit accompanying her on his acoustic guitar.
"We don't just do brand-new songs," Swann said. The audience will "get a selection of songs. What makes our sets interesting is we like to go back in history and tell stories to let people know where we came from," she said. Morykit added that their music is the "evolution of the Gypsy Soul sound as it has evolved - life's experiences and what inspired the songs we sing."
The Swann and Morykit combo has released 10 CDs and a live DVD, and sold more than 1.5 million music downloads around the globe.
They will be appearing in Cave Creek on Saturday, and when Agostino heard they would be so close, he jumped at the chance to get them to Prescott, he said. They tour the western United States and Europe, playing venues from coffee houses to art and wine festivals and theaters.
Tickets for the Gypsy Soul performance are $15 and will be available at the door, through the Prescott Center for the Arts box office by calling 445-3286, or online at pca-az.net. The Prescott Center for the Arts is located at 208 N. Marina St.