Ari | Dave | Rob | Craig | Steve | Leon


Ari Munkres - Stand Up Bass

Internationally acclaimed bassist Ari Munkres has been performing professionally for well over two decades. He has performed everything from classical to rock and has been excelling in the jazz world for the last ten years. One of the best gypsy jazz players in the country, he feels very fortunate to be playing with Gaucho, a group of musicians who share his abiding passion for the gypsy tradition.



Dave Ricketts - Guitar

A talented Gypsy Jazz guitarist as well as an accomplished classical player, Dave studied with William Feasley and holds a B.A. in Music from the U. of New Mexico. The CD “Django in Brussels” awoke in him a love for Gypsy Jazz, resulting in his playing for the Hot Club of San Francisco since 1999. He has performed with Kevin Nolan, Elizabeth Prior-Runnicles and Evan Price, and has toured to places as varied as Iceland, Amsterdam, Mexico and Samois-sur-Seine (Django’s final home.) These experiences combined with his classical background have enriched Dave‘s approach to Django's music.



Rob Reich - Accordion

Rob Reich has been playing music on various instruments since age three. After receiving his degree in composition from Oberlin Conservatory, he began focus on what is now his primary instrument, the accordion. Besides being a longtime member of Gaucho, Rob performs regularly with The Nice Guy Trio and Tin Hat. He contributes a passionate and playful musicality to all the music he approaches. More info at



Craig Ventresco - Guitar

Craig Ventresco moved to San Francisco thirty years ago and established himself as a guitarist specializing in older styles of American popular music. A transplant from Maine, he also lived in NYC for a time. He used to play on the street every day to earn a living but is thankful he has not had to do so for the past ten years. The reason he never got a “day job” is that he really loves playing guitar and wanted to improve. He has a real love for popular music that was written during the ragtime era (circa 1890-1915) and also for blues. He is self–taught and spends as much time as humanly possible working on his playing. Craig says of himself, “I don't save recordings of my own playing because I hear myself enough, but I suppose that I have recorded over 30 of them, both solo and with other musicians.” He is probably best known for his integral contributions to the soundtracks of Terry Zwigoff films, Crumb and Ghost World.



Steve Apple - Percussion

Steve Apple started playing drums at the age of five on a “Tony the Tiger” drumset supplied by his very tolerant mother. At age 14 he started playing Traditional Jazz with the Churchill Street Jazz Band at Palo Alto High School and knew right away that he’d found his natural musical genre. His major influences are Davey Tough and Ray Bauduc, as well as later drummers such as Wayne Jones and Hal Smith. He’s played with many Bay Area “Trad” and Swing bands including the Magnolia Jazz Band, The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Professor Plum’s Jazz and many others. He spent two years filling in for Beth Goodfellow with Gaucho starting in 2011 and enthusiastically became the regular drummer in 2013. He enjoys playing a supportive role for his band-mates and he LOVES playing for dancers.



Leon Oakley - Horns