Birdland Jazz Club

This November marks the 20thAnniversary of the Django Reinhardt NY Festival at Birdland Jazz Club, produced by Pat Philips-Stratta and her late partner, conductor Ettore Stratta. The festival, which began in 1999, has featured many talented musicians over the years who embody the gypsy jazz style of music by the great Django Reinhardt. Of these was guitarist Dorado Schmitt.
 

There’s nobody quite like Roger Kellaway. In a career that has stretched over the last 60 years, while performing with many of the legendary jazz musicians of his time he has also written memorable film and television scores, composed classical works for major symphony orchestras, inspired what came to be known as “new age” music, and provided essential accompaniment and musical direction for iconic figures of American popular music like Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee Bobby LaVell gained an interest in music while in high school. He became proficient on the Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Piano while pursuing formal musical studies at Memphis State (now the University of Memphis), and Shelby State College. Bobby also studied and became proficient as an arranger and composer during that time. Bobby' s formal education continued with composition studies with Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Albam at the B.M.I. Jazz Composers Workshop.

The Django Reinhardt NY Festival launched in 2000 at Birdland is in its 18th year.  Out of the Festival came the top players, The Django Festival Allstars, who tour 2X a year and always spend a week at their home in the US, BIRDLAND.  On the road, to standing ovations, they play top venues –Hollywood Bowl, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival and much more with original music in the style and Django favorites.  This past summer at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Bowl, critic Scott Yan

While many of its architects – the creators of the sound, style and form of Bossa Nova and Samba - are no longer with us, two talents who shortly followed in their footsteps are coming to Birdland in an exciting collaboration.

After standing ovations and rave reviews at The Newport Jazz Festival, The Django Festival Allstars return from Paris for two major tours and a week at their home, BIRDLAND on June 23 – 27 headed by lead guitarist, Samson Schmitt, gypsy from Forbach, France, son of the legendary Dorado Schmitt who will return to Birdland and for the 2nd tour in November.

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