Good day, LDAC members and supporters, sponsors and friends!
Get ready for a guitar-based Virtual Concert #13.
Today’s Virtual Concert focuses on famed guitarist Django Reinhardt. Django’s style, sometimes called gypsy jazz, continues to inspire instrumentalists around the world. We’ll also feature entertainers who have come to Burns Lake to play tribute to Django and to ‘gypsy jazz’.
Jean Reinhardt, born in 1910, was known by his stage name Django Reinhardt. He was a Belgian-born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer. (The Romani people were, for many years, called ‘gypsies’ in English.) Django remains one of the most significant influences in the history of jazz. With violinist Stephane Grapelli, Reinhardt formed the Paris-based Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1934. The group was among the first to play jazz that featured the guitar as a lead instrument. Reinhardt recorded in France with many visiting American musicians, and briefly toured the United States with Duke Ellington’s orchestra in 1946. He died suddenly of a stroke at the age of 43. Reinhardt’s most popular compositions have become standards within gypsy jazz, including “Minor Swing” and “Djangology”.
Now, on with the show. First up is a French mini-documentary about Django (with English subtitles)
The LDAC has hosted a number of entertainers over the years, who played in the Django style. The Denis Chang Quartet performed at the LDSS MPR back in April, 2012. Here are Denis and a Japanese colleague playing Django’s ‘greatest hit’, “Minor Swing”.
In LDAC’s very first year, way back in November 2006, we hosted the Van Django quartet in the MPR. Van Django play ‘Avalon’, a song from the 1920’s that became a big band hit and was recorded by Nat King Cole (and many years later by his daughter, Natalie Cole)
To round out today’s Virtual Concert — you may have noticed most of the Django-style musicians are men. But, during LDAC’s ‘Perfect 10’ season, in 2016,. we presented Christine Tassan et les Imposteures. Here are Christine and her band mates with their version of ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’, a big band tune written by Louis Prima in 1936. The song became a big hit for for Benny Goodman in ’37. Goodman’s recorded version took almost 9 minutes and covered both sides of a 78 RPM record, almost unheard of at the time.
That’s it for this week’s Virtual Concert. We’ll likely have one more VC and then take a bit of a summer break. But watch for more arts and cultural news from time to time over the summer: We’re still here!