Northampton will strut its je ne sais quoi June 9 - 14 when it again plays
host to the annual Django in June festival at Smith College. The gathering,
now in its 6th year, is devoted to the "Gypsy jazz" tradition launched by
guitar legend Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli in pre-WWII
France, a tradition still alive and thriving around the globe today. The
event draws Djangophiles from around the US and Canada for almost a week of
study, performances and "djamming". Locals who would like to jump aboard
the Gypsy caravan on its brief stay in town have several opportunities to do
so, including these two terrific concerts:
*Concert: Friday, June 12: The Denis Chang Quartet and The Gonzalo Bergara
Montreal-based Denis Chang is one of Canada's premier Gypsy jazz guitarists
and an internationally recognized teacher of the style. Django biographer
Michael Dregni called Gonzalo Bergara's CD, Porteña Soledad, "a masterpiece
of a new kind of Gypsy jazz, taking Django's work as a starting point for
very personal music." (Helen Hills Hills Chapel; 7:30; $20 advance/$22 door)
*Concert: Saturday, June 13: The Kruno Spisic Trio and Pigalle44 with Tim
Kruno Spisic makes distinctive and beautiful music by fusing Eastern
European folk traditions with Django Swing and a long list of diverse
influences, including Joe Satriani, Frank Sinatra and Birelli Lagrene.
Wrapping the evening (and the event) are special guests from Holland,
Pigalle 44 with Tim Kliphuis (violin) and Gert Wantenaar (accordion).
Veterans of the Amsterdam Hot Club scene, but visiting the US for the first
time, Pigalle 44 is known for unique repertoire, creative arrangements,
tight ensemble work and stellar musicianship. (Helen Hills Hills Chapel;
7:30; $20 advance/$22 door)
In addition to the weekend concerts, Django in June offers locals these
opportunities for learning and listening:
*Dinner Showcase, Wednesday, June 10: Swing Caravan at the Sierra Grille.
This has been a big year for the Caravan, thanks to the release of their
debut CD, "get it fresh", and steady gigging here in the Valley. Join them
for a Django-inflected dinner showcase at the Sierra Grille, 41 Strong St.
in Northampton. Fun and food start at 6:30; no cover; reservations
*Presentation, Thursday, June 11: What's so Special about Stephane
Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis is one of the world's leading authorities on
the playing style of Django's best known musical counterpart, Stephane
Grappelli. The publication of Kliphuis' new book, "Stephane Grappelli: Gypsy
Jazz Violin", provides us the perfect occasion to consider Grappelli's
contributions to Swing violin in general and Django-jazz in particular. Part
talk, part performance, Tim's presentation promises to be as informative as
it is enjoyable. (Franklin King House, Smith College campus, 7:30, free.)
*Instrumental Clinics for Musicians, June 9-14.
Local musicians are invited and encouraged to go the full-immersion route by
attending Django Camp Tuesday through Sunday, but for those who can only
drop in for a couple hours or a couple days, Django in June offers over 50
clinics to choose from over the course of the weekend. Whether you play
guitar, violin, mandolin, accordion or bass...we've got you covered for a
weekend of learning and "djamming".
For more information, including audio and video clips of all our performing
artists and directions to all our venues, please visit djangoinjune.com.
Hi resolution photos for print media available on request from event
organizer Andrew Lawrence.