Velvet Caravan's music has been influenced by so many styles that the sound isn't easy to categorize.

But the term "gypsy jazz" has stuck, and it sure seems a fitting way to describe the freewheeling virtuosity that has enlivened so many clubs and events since the group's founding in 2011.

In 2013, Velvet Caravan launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund production of its first CD, "Acoustic in Nature," which was recorded by Kevin Rose of Elevated Basement Studio live onstage over three nights at the Lucas Theatre.

Velvet Caravan will be releasing that new record with a special show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Trinity United Methodist Church on Telfair Square. The performance is part of the church's new series, Trinity Sanctuary Concerts.

There's a $10 cover, but the event is free to the band's Kickstarter supporters.

Violinist Ricardo Ochoa told me fans have been surprised about the release being at Trinity rather than one of the band's usual haunts.

"The truth is that we wanted to perform in a more intimate space where people can share about 70 minutes with us," Ochoa said. "We are very proud of this CD, and we have involved other local talented artists to help us design, illustrate and record the album. Playing at a bar or a restaurant doesn't always help feature all of these qualities."

"We know how to entertain people while eating dinner, but the future of the band is somewhere else," Ochoa added, noting an upcoming collaboration with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and other projects on the horizon.

And there's another advantage to playing at Trinity.

"It also gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves to better our performance," Ochoa said. "With an audience focused and concentrated on what we are doing, we will give our best."

Later that night, the party moves to B. Matthew's, with hors d'oeuvres and drink specials.

"We will continue to play until they kick us out," Ochoa said.

CUSSES also had a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 to fund a new album.

The threesome is taking a respite from the studio for two weeks, with shows in Knoxville and Atlanta.

On Feb. 1, CUSSES will be headlining at The Jinx.

The Bronzed Chorus from Greensboro will be on the bill, and Savannah's Bear Fight will bring hard rock out of hibernation.

"We have been hard at work finishing our sophomore record, hoping to bring something to our fans more than they can imagine," CUSSES' lead singer Angel Bond said last week.

"We're taking a short break to play a couple of our favorite towns and come home to get and give some much needed love to pull us through this finale," Bond added.

In addition to the Feb. 1 gig at The Jinx, CUSSES is among the bands performing at the Savannah Rocks! Beatles tribute on Feb. 7 at the American Legion.

Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged ( Contact him at