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The Django Reinhardt Festival At Birdland In New York City Features Rare Appearance By Grandson
Published September 21, 2007

Eighth annual festival brings the most talented players from Europe together with special American jazz greats as guests.

The Eighth Annual Django Reinhardt Festival at Birdland will carry on the legacy of the legendary French guitarist throughout early November in New York City. The producers, Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta, brought together the most talented players from Europe with American jazz greats as guests. This year, David Reinhardt, grandson of Django, comes to America for the first time. He joins Dorado Schmitt, legendary guitarist from a gypsy family of musicians from the Lorraine region of France. Schmitt will be joined by his son Samson, now a star in his own right. The elder Schmitt is also a composer, like Django, and returns due to popular demand.

More highlights include:
Florin Niculescu - originally from Romania, lives in Paris, and is considered the #1 Grappelli-style violinist in the world. He was part of Bireli Lagrene’s band for years and has performed with major symphonies all over Europe. Recently, he was part of the Oscar Peterson Tribute at Carnegie Hall.

Ludovic Beier - virtuoso accordionist, also plays the accordina. He is a prolific producer-arranger, a young star in Paris. He recently appeared at Carnegie Hall for the Toots Thieleman’s Tribute and brought the house to its feet.

Kruno - hails from Philadelphia and joins the gang with his rare talent, performing Django fused with his family's Croatian influence.

Brian Torf - bassist, who performed years with Grappelli, George Shearing, Dave Grusin and Marian McPartland, also serves as musical director for the evening.

Each night, the festival features a special guest:
Nov. 6: HOUSTON PERSON, Ben Webster-style saxophonist
Nov. 7: HOWARD LEVY, Versatile jazz harmonic master
Nov. 8: JOEL FRAHM, saxophonist
Nov. 9: ROBERTA GAMBARINI, Italian jazz vocalist
Nov. 10: EDMAR CASTANEDA, Colombian jazz harpist

Birdland, 35 W. 44th Street
Reservations: (212) 581-3080 or
$40 Cover Tues., Wed., Thurs., Sun. - $45 Fri. and Sat – $10 Minimum