Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stephane Wrembel and the Genesis of Gypsy Jazz

Last night I had the chance to check out Stephane Wrembel playing with one of several iterations of his band, The Django Experiment, at the Philadelphia Society for Arts, Literature and Music. During the first half of the show, Stephane spoke about the genesis of gypsy jazz and played some classic riffs and tunes to demonstrate the stylistic development and influences of the genre across various periods and continents. The second half of the performance consisted of his more contemporary, original compositions. Very cool show. You can get a little taste of it by checking out this mini-documentary:

Sometimes I think I have more readers in the New York area than in Philly, so for those of you in and around the five boroughs, Stephane and his band play just about every Sunday night at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Wrembel’s music alone should make it worth your visit; if an extra incentive is needed it looks as though Barbès offers a pretty serious Scotch and beer selection. Be sure to report back here if you check it out.


Do Bianchi said...

I've seen him play at Barbès, back in the day, when I was a Brooklynite!

It's such a trip how Django has spawned so many tributes and how intense and serious his followers remain... Django's über-cult status is a unique phenomenon... I mean how many Hendrix tributes are there?

David McDuff said...

I somehow had the feeling that someone out there, especially one of my Brooklynite readers (past or present), might have seen Stephane before. Why am I not surprised it turned out to be you, Jeremy?

The Django phenomenon even reaches beyond music and into the food world, with restaurants named after him in both Philly (though it's now closed) and Manhattan -- maybe more. How many restaurants do you know of called "Jimi"?

On the other hand, Hendrix's musical influence has been, I think, even more pervasive. It's just less obvious and less openly imitated than Django's.

Do Bianchi said...

yeah, in another lifetime, I ran in that circle... you could find me pretty regularly at barbès... olivier is a good cat, too...

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