John Jorgenson Quintet
Esprit de Django et Stephane FestivalFriday, April 1, 2011, 8:00 pm (doors open one at 7:00 pm)Franco-American jazz ensemble $22.50 advance / $24.50 at doorPurchase tickets online
April 01 8:00 pm

Prepare to be swept off your feet, as the John Jorgenson Quintet blows the roof off a mind-blowing evening of Gypsy jazz in the first night of our Esprit de Django et Stephane Festival.

The Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli formed the World War II era "Quintette du Hot Club de France" in 1934giving life to a unique, impassioned brand of Gypsy-style jazz which inspired generations to follow. Their signature sound combined a dark, chromatic Gypsy flavor with the swing articulation of the period, and a percussive rhythm guitar that replaced the drums.

John, a dazzling guitarist, clarinetist, and vocalist, grew up in southern California, got his first guitar at 12 and was playing professionally by the age of 14. In addition to his session work with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Benny Goodman, he was a founding member of the Desert Rose Band and the Hellecasters, and a six-year member of Elton John's band. A pioneer of the American Gypsy jazz movement known for his Django-channeling talents, John was tapped to portray the famed guitarist in the film, Head in the Clouds.

John's quintet features the talents of guitarist Doug Martin who has performed worldwide with acclaimed Gypsy guitarist Lulo Reinhardt, violinist Jason Anick (graduate of the prestigious Hart College), world-renowned Gypsy-jazz bassist Simon Planting, and percussionist Rick Reed who has anchored a diverse range of artists including Shelby Lynn and Ray Davies. You can bet it will be hard to sit still tonight when the quintet present their virtuosic take on "hot jazz" classics and John's irresitible originals blending the soulful with the sizzling.

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