schmitt

'GYPSY JAZZ FAMILY TRIBUTE' at The Django Reinhardt NY Festival

"Gypsy Jazz" is a family tradition passed on from one generation to another and so it was with the SCHMITT family coming from the Strasbourg area of  France, near Germany.  George, father of legendary gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt, while virtually unknown for his talent as guitarist and violinist outside the area he lived, taught his son Dorado who taught his sons Samson and now young Amati only 14 years old...keeping the tradition of hot gypsy jazz alive.  To all of them, Django Reinhardt was a God of music in whose footsteps all gypsy musicians walked.

To see Dorado, Samson and Amati (who will debuted in the US at the Festival ) is to see how it all works, side by side.   It is in the family blood, a part of the customs and culture, a sharing and passing down from one member to another....very much a part of gypsy life.  George Schmitt passed away this year and so the Django Reinhardt NY Festival celebrates his influence on his family thru music. Birdland will host the Schmitt Family Tribute, performing in memory of of the elder George Schmitt. The Festival is Produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta and going into its 11th year and has taken the US by storm thru tours connected to the Festival each year which has taken stars of the Festival to the Kennedy Center, Disney Hall in LA, The San Franciso Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and much more.  It has caused a resurgence of 'gypsy jazz' in America with other festivals and concerts springing up all over, greatly due to the enormous talent of lead gypsy guitarist, legendary Dorado Schmitt who has been a part of the presentations for over 9 years and will be here again this November.

The Schmitts will be joined by bassist Xavier Nikq and violinist Pierre Blanchard from France and master jazz pianist Peter Beets from Holland.  As always there will be a Special Guest each night starting with renowned Russian cellist Borislav Strulev opening night Nov. 2 who will perform "Nuages", Django's most important composition, with an arrangement by top musician Roger Kellaway.  On Nov. 3rd will be swinging saxist Anat Cohen, Nov. 4th beautiful young talent Miguel Zenon also on sax , Nov. 5th Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda returning by special demand, Nov. 6th David Langlois on washboard percussion, and the fabulous Joel Frahm on sax Nov. 7th.  The beautiful and wonderful vocalist Hilary Kole will step in as well as a surprise on some nights.

George Schmitt may not be a 'star', but his family will shine on him brightly this year at the Django Reinhardt NY Festival at Birdland.  HOT GYPSY JAZZ dating back to the 20's and 30's in Europe when great gypsy guitarist DJANGO REINHARDT met and performed with virtuoso violinist STEPHANE GRAPPELLI changed music forever and created the one of the most memorable musical partnerships in musical history.  This will all be re-created at Birdland Nov. 2-7 and remains music that is ever exciting, creative, original in style and very cutting edge while it still incorporates beautiful melody and romance through the brilliant virtuosity of the players.

On sale at the Festival will be the new CD, Dorado Schmitt and The Django Reinhardt NY Festival Allstars "Live at the Kennedy Center". 

Birdland:  315 West 44th Street (bet 8th and 9th Avenues)
Reservations:  212 581 - 3080
Shows 8:30 and 11:00 pm (tues. thru sunday)

Django's 100th Birthday At The Iridium

Dorado Schmitt, legendary gypsy guitarist from France, has been at the center of the Django music resurgence in the US by appearing regularly at the Django Reinhardt NY Festival.  Besides starring at  the festival, he has toured the country with Allstar Bands  promoting the Django Reinhardt style at such  venues as The Kennedy  Center, Disney Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The SF Festival, Caramoor  and more...to great acclaim.

His highly anticipated return to the US this January will be in a major tour celebrating the 100th Birthday of DJANGO REINHARDT, his idol, with a swing thru NYC at The IRIDIUM on February 1,2,& 3 with a special tribute to the great LES PAUL, Monday, February  1.  Les Paul cited Django as one of his favorite guitarists, was a personal friend, and was instrumental in settling Django's estate and was given a guitar valued at over $500,000.00.

Accompanying DORADO SCHMITT will be SAMSON SCHMITT -  his son, a young Gypsy Guitar star in his own right, MARCEL LOEFFLER - Virtuoso Accordionist,  PIERRE BLANCHARD - Violin master, all from France , accompanied by Veteran Bassist BRIAN TORFF who performed for years with Grappelli.  And, there will be surprises!

*Django's most important and well-known composition NUAGES will be performed by DORADO SCHMITT and Band with renowned Russian Cellist BORISLAV STRULEV, a world-premiere performance of "Nuages" with cello.  A special arrangement for cello has been written by top Pianist/Composer/Arranger ROGER KELLAWAY (who Conducted and Arranged the music for Clint Eastwoods' new film INVICTUS).

Special Guest: Curtis Stigers

If voices, like wines, had noses, Curtis Stigers’ would be dusky oak with hints of Willie Nelson, Harry Nilsson, Ray Charles and Matt Dennis. It’s a voice that’s at once young and old, tender and tough, warm and inviting as a caress, yet sturdy as a firm handshake.  -Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

Curtis Stigers is at the forefront of a new generation of jazz singers with one of the most distinctive voices in music...Downbeat Magazine named him as one of the jazz genre’s “Rising Male Stars”.  He has toured the world with such renowned pop artists as Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Prince, while collaborating with  jazz greats  Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Randy and Michael Brecker, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Chris Potter, Larry Goldings and Toots Thielmans.   Crossing from Pop to Jazz, he has been  called “one of the best male jazz singers of his generation” by JazzTimes.  Stigers's latest critically acclaimed recording, "Lost In Dreams," on Concord Jazz, was released in September 2009.

Re the music of DJANGO, STIGERS says" I just love the Django recordings.  Something just kills me about it and I can hear myself singing in that sound!"

The Django Allstar tour, celebrating Djano's 100th birthday (which is Jan. 24th), commences with an important concert at the Kennedy Center Jan. 16, onto Minneapolis at the Dakota Jan. 18 & 19,  Yoshis in Oakland Jan. 21-24, Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz Jan. 25, Catalina's in LA Jan. 26,27,28, The Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa Jan 29 & 30, onto NY at the IRIDIUM Feb. 1,2,3, climaxing at the Montreal Jazz Festival Feb., 4,5,6 before heading back to France...Produced by Pat Philips & Ettore Stratta. The pair have also just released their new CD, Dorado Schmitt and The Django Reinhardt NY Festival Allstars "Live at the Kennedy Center" on their own label SP Productions. ..CD will be on sale during the tour.  (for info: patmusic2@aol.com)

DJANGO and GRAPPELLI met in the 30's in France to form The Hot Club  Quintette which took Europe by storm  and went on to become one of  the  most important musical partnerships in European history with a  hot jazz rendition of American pop standards, influenced by Ellington,  Armstrong and the like...Gypsy Jazz is still on the cutting edge and enjoying  enormous success around the world.  Young musicians as well as more  established are digging into Django's music , a torrent of guitar lines  on special string guitars with sounds all their own, easily  recognizable, virtuosic, hot and romantic.

Celebrity musicians and actors admire the music such as Leonardo DiCaprio who's dog is named Django, Sean Penn who starred in Woody Allen's  film "Sweet and Lo Down" about this music, Willie Nelson records it,  Tony Bennett wrote a lyric to Nuages, the most famous Django composition ... and more.

"Feb 1,2,3, is the  Centennial Celebration at one of NY's most important venues..."Historymaking  at THE IRIDIUM'  marking a music and master that continues to fascinate, inspire and bring joy...one  that has endured the test of time...and is still swinging!