French guitarist Stephane Wrembel and guests celebrate the music of Django Reinhardt
Now in its 12th edition, the festival started by Stephane Wrembel has grown into a major event that takes the music of Django Reinhardt as a starting point and celebrates the constant evolution of Gypsy Jazz. The concert's repertoire follows the Django canon and veers into re-interpretation, improvisation and interplay between musicians from various backgrounds.
This year, Wrembel is bringing to the U.S. a world-class team of French guitarists to join him on stage: Simba Baumgartner (Reinhardt’s great grandson, who will celebrate the show with the release of his debut CD, Les Yeux Noirs), Raphael Fays, Serge Krief, David Gastine, Ezeckiel Krief and Lior Krief. Additional guitarists Josh Kaye, Thor Jensen and additional performers Jonny Mizzone (Banjo) Bria Skonberg (trumpet), Daisy Castro (violin), David Langlois (washboard/percussion), Ari Folman-Cohen (double bass), and Nick Anderson (drums) will comprise the amazing array of talent on the legendary stage of The Town Hall.
Stephane Wrembel first familiarized himself with Django’s music by playing with manouche musicians back in his native France. He moved to the US twenty years ago and has since become this country’s best known Gypsy jazz musician. He is best known for scoring the theme song to Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" - which he also performed live during the 2012 Academy Awards - and has been called “a revelation” by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Simba Baumgartner is the great grandson of Django Reinhardt- one of the greatest geniuses of modern guitar, and the creator of his own musical genre and tradition: Gypsy Jazz. Simba started learning guitar at age 4 in the purest tradition of his family, learning all of his great grandfather’s secrets.
Raphael Fays is a legendary guitar player, who started the whole modern Django revival. He has always been a pioneer and a reference for the Gypsy jazz musicians. He plays Django's music, as well as classical and flamenco.
Serge Krief was Stephane's master. He is one of the founders of this style of playing, and has performed in films, as well as festivals and clubs around the world. Ezeckiel and Lior Krief are Serge Kiref's sons. Both of them have reached an incredible level of mastery of the instrument, and are considered amongst the greatest virtuosos on the planet. At such young ages, it is truly unbelievable.
David Gastine is considered perhaps the greatest rhythm player in the world nowadays. David Gastine performed at Carnegie Hall for Django a Gogo 2017. He also sings a repertoire of old French songs.
Jonny Mizzone - Viral video sensation Jonny Mizzone has been making waves on the banjo since age 8 with over 50 million views on YouTube and performances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Grand Ole Opry, and Carnegie Hall. His original music has been described as “an innovative mixture of folk, country, bluegrass, pop, and rock (and even a little bit of Irish trad and punk thrown in for good measure).” Now at age 17, Jonny continues to push this classic American instrument to new and exciting places..
Bria Skonberg is an award-winning trumpeter and vocalist. Bria Skonberg is, in the words of The Wall Street Journal, “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.” An artist deeply committed to the New Orleans “hot jazz” tradition filtered through contemporary influences, the Chilliwack, British Columbia native began her musical life as a big band vocalist (doubling on trumpet) at age sixteen and studying with trumpeter and swing veteran Warren Vaché. Skonberg traveled the world with veteran guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Horward Alden and formed groups in Canada including Bria’s Hot Five, The Big Bang Jazz Band, and the all-female Mighty Aphrodite Jazz Band.