The Django Reinhardt NY Festival carries on the legacy of the virtuoso gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and his “hot swing” style of playing that started a musical revolution in France and the world in the ‘30s and ‘40s when he teamed with master Jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli in the Hot Club Quintette!
The Festival, produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta, goes into gear with a sizzling cast featuring young players. Many of “The Young Lions Of Gypsy Jazz” come from Europe starting with Samson Schmitt from France, son of legendary gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt – this year Samson comes on his own.
Andreas Oberg (photo) hails from Sweden and is a virtuoso “rock star” of the gypsy guitar. We are delighted to present him at the Festival for the first time on the heels of his new CD just out on Resonance Records.  Ludovic Beier, a regular from Paris, is an accordion and accordina master along with being an accomplished Composer… a bright star on the horizon!
Joining the band is Timbo, French swing violinist and regular of Samson’s band in Europe along with 18-year old Bronson, rhythm player and younger brother of Samson coming to the US for the first time. Kruno Spisic, from Philadelphia, a swinging gypsy guitar player, with movie-star appeal, returns to Birdland to wow the audiences. Add to all this the new American gypsy band, The Hot Club Of Detroit made up of 5 young musicians who have deep Jazz Gypsy roots and swing like mad! Their new CD is on Mack Avenue Records.
The veteran of the group is bassist Brian Torff. He plays a mean bass and holds everything together as Musical Director.
Every year, we have a Jazz great from this side of the ocean as a special guest each night including Joel Frahm who plays the sax as hot hot as it can be. Edmar Castaneda, virtuoso on the Colombian jazz harp, brings an original excitement to the music. Howard Levy is a Harmonica Master (classical and jazz) whose rip-roaring technique and personality are a great match for the gypsies. It will be a ‘first’ with Wycliffe Gordon, trombonist, playing the music of Django, with his special magic, as will David Llanglois who plays the “washboards,” an unusual percussion instrument that is great fun!
The Django Reinhardt NY Festival is known for hot swinging/romantic music in the style of Django Reinhardt. There will be smiles on and offstage, sheer joy, original collaborations…and most importantly, gypsy swing on the highest level.
Nov. 4,5,6: Samson Schmitt, Andreas Oberg, Ludovic Beier, Kruno Spisic, Bronson, Timbo, Brian Torff + Joel Frahm (4th), Howard Levy (5th), Wycliffe Gordon (6th)
Nov. 7,8,9: Samson, Lud