George Cole

Esprit de Django & Stephane Festival

Sunday, January 26, 2014, 8:00 pm
(doors open at 7:00 pm)

gypsy jazz & uptown swing

$25 advance / $27 door

Purchase tickets online
January 26 8:00 pm

George ColeJazz guitarist George Cole has played a big role in the Esprit de Django & Stephane Festival since its inception. His music heats up the Great American Songbook with the fire of gypsy jazz. “The instruments are just a match made in heaven,” he says. “The guitar is like musical pointillism, while the violin produces these gorgeous long notes. Django gets a lot of the credit as the Big Bang of the guitar, but they go together. It’s the point/counterpoint that really creates the sound.” Tonight he’s joined by a stellar group of musicians, including two-time Grammy winner Mads Tolling on violin, Spanish gypsy guitarist Javier Jimenez, and Kaeli Earle on bass and vocals.

Mads TollingGeorge, a native of nearby Richmond, started out as a rock’n’roller. He’s played with Chris Isaak and Joe Walsh, and he gave guitar lessons to Green Day stalwarts Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt. “I grew up in the rock era,” he says, “but the secret is that I always liked my parents’ music – Bing Crosby, the Andrew Sisters, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra. And when I began writing and singing the songs, it just came out in the style of my earliest musical influences. I was as surprised as anyone at what I was creating.” Guitar Player Magazine has praised George’s “excellent Django-style guitar work.” He’s played lead guitar in such bands as Young Country, The Upstarts, Zula Pool, Beatnik Beatch, and Big Blue Hearts, sung duets with jazz legend Keely Smith, and recorded three solo albums, including Riverside Drive, available on David Grisman’s Acoustic Disc label. “I have more fun playing this music than anything,” George says. “To see the expression on people’s faces, they really get a kick out of the guitar and violin pyrotechnics. It’s fun for us to turn people on to this new-old sound, and do it live.”

David Grisman will be sitting in on this performance.

New Baguette Quartette will be playing in the lobby from 7 to 8 pm.

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