New York's Birdland to Host Sixth Django Reinhardt Festival Next Month

Classic Arts News   New York's Birdland to Host Sixth Django Reinhardt Festival Next Month
The Django Reinhardt New York Festival, an annual salute to the pioneering gypsy guitarist, returns for the sixth time next month. The six-night event opens at the club Birdland on November 8.

The core group for the festival includes French guitarists Dorado Schmitt, Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Hassan, and Samson Schmitt; accordionist Ludovic Beier; and violinist Pierre Blanchard. Bassist Brian Torff is the music director. Guest soloists include clarinetist Ken Peplowski (November 8), saxophonist Harry Allen (November 9), saxophonist Lew Tabackin (November 10); pianist Roger Kellaway (November 11), saxophonist Joel Frahm (November 12), and trumpeter Dominick Farinacci (November 13).

Reinhardt, who grew up in a camp outside Paris, became a virtuoso guitarist despite burns that made two of the fingers on his left hand useless. In 1934, he founded the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with violinist Stephane Grappelli, playing a distinctly European variant of swing accompanied by bass and a second guitar. Reinhardt later took up the electric guitar and performed with American groups in the bebop style, but his most beloved and influential records are the Hot Club recordings of the 1930s. He died in 1953 of a stroke.

The cover charge is $30 on November 8, 9, 10, and 13, and $35 on November 11 and 12. There is an additional minimum of $10 for table seating. Call 212-581-3080 or visit for reservations.

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