Sunday, September 6, 2009

The SWIRL from Ipanema

There’s something remarkable about seeing people do what they love. People who create their own happiness fill the room with it, and only a hardhearted spectator walks away without a smile.

The band SWIRL is made up of Jimmy Vasilopolous on guitar and Alan Johnson on drums. Jimmy is a teacher and Alan is a lawyer – their minds have pursued different careers, but their hearts are in their music.

And they make it look easy. Jimmy’s fingers seemed to float over the strings. The only proof that he touched them was the lovely melody. Alan nursed a beer, greeted admirers and played separate instruments simultaneously and beautifully with each hand. The band’s bright fluid sound made you think summertime might linger in Southern Connecticut. They’re not from Ipanema, but their music evokes the breezy calm of the famous song.

We saw SWIRL at Avenida Restaurant over a late Sunday brunch. As an accompaniment to Mexican coconut French toast and Apple chicken chorizo, it was hard to beat. Avenida keeps their large overhead door open on warm days and SWIRL set up shop adjacent. Between the music and Alan's pink shirt and shades in the sunshine, SWIRL is the poster child for chilling out – and everybody knows it. Even a stranger walking by called out “sounds great!” No question.

(photo from Tracy Hunter,

1 comment:

outofcntrl82 said...

I love this band.. they are both so talented and the music is fantastic.
I hope they come to my neck of the woods soon so I can see them again!