Two-day Gypsy Jazz In Paradise celebrates distinct style of Django Reinhardt in August
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (June 4, 2012) – Jazz has long been part of the 16th annual Crested Butte Music Festival’s (CBMF) lineup. This year the focus is on a jazz legend, Junior Mance, and gypsy jazz, a truly unique style of music attributed to legendary French/Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.
Gypsy Jazz In Paradise
The second annual Gypsy Jazz In Paradise, presented by the Crested Butte Music Festival and DjangoFest™, is slated for the weekend of Aug. 11 – 12 at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Mt. Crested Butte.
Born into a family of Romani gypsies, Django Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called “hot” jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. He was the toast of Paris in the ‘30s, entertaining the likes of Josephine Baker, Picasso and Hemingway. Of all the styles of jazz to emerge in the 20th century, none is more passionate, exhilaratingly up-tempo or steeped in outsider tradition than gypsy jazz—a mentality that fits independent-spirited Crested Butte like a glove.
Hot Club of Detroit will perform on the evening of Aug. 11 at Butte 66 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Founded in 2003, the group rapidly accumulated accolades and audiences over the next several years, including a first-place win in the 2004 Detroit International Jazz Festival competition and multiple Detroit Music Awards. Their 2006 self-titled debut, while slightly more traditional than later releases, established their broad-minded approach to the Django resurgence. The cost for tickets is $35.
Sizzling performances by Hot Club Sandwich and Ben Powell will be paired with a gourmet brunch at the mid-mountain Uley’s Cabin on Aug. 12. Participants will ride the chairlift to the 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. event. The total cost is $55 per person.
Hot Club Sandwich has added original compositions, lighthearted vocal numbers, clever arrangements and elements of Latin American acoustic music to create its own voice from the gypsy jazz traditions set by Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli’s Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Ben Powell’s abilities as a multi-stylistic violinist have allowed him to perform with some of the world’s greatest artists, irrespective of musical genre, from such pop and jazz icons as Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Steve Winwood, Philip Bailey and Rosa Passos to internationally famous classical conductors, including Sir Roger Norrington, Marin Alsop, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Keith Lockhart.
A weekend pass for Gypsy Jazz In Paradise is $80. There also will be workshops led by some of these outstanding musicians on Saturday. For workshop details and prices, call the Crested Butte Music Festival at (970) 349-0619.
Gypsy Jazz & Aspen Hike Package
For the ultimate experience, combine gypsy jazz with a guided 11-mile hike with Colorado Backcountry from Aspen to Crested Butte, traversing one of the most beautiful routes on the planet. The adventure begins on Aug. 10 at the base area at Aspen Highlands, where hikers will take the public bus to trailhead at Maroon Lake. Cross the Elk Mountain Divide and descend West Maroon Pass, walking through one of Colorado’s most spectacular wildflower displays before being shuttled to Mt. Crested Butte. Have a full day to explore Crested Butte on Aug. 11 before attending the evening concert, followed by the brunch concert on Aug. 12 and transportation back to Aspen. The cost is $310 with booking available through the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival at 970.349.2571 or www.
Junior Mance Home Soirée
Set in of some of the most beautiful homes in the Gunnison Valley, home soirées are a wonderful way to socialize, experience wonderful music in an intimate setting, and enjoy wine and appetizers. One of the five soirées offered this year features jazz great Junior Mance and his trio, also including Hide Tanaka on bass and Michi Fuji on violin, on July 10 from 6 – 8 p.m. Tickets cost $110. The capacity of home soirées is limited, so do not delay in buying tickets as these events typically sell out.
Born in Chicago in 1928 and now a resident of Manhattan, Julian Clifford Mance Jr. is a jazz pianist, composer, author of “How to Play Blues Piano,” and recording artist of 40-plus albums as a leader and numerous recordings as a sideman. He played and recorded with Lester Young, Dinah Washington, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and many others. His latest CD, the Junior Mance Quintet’s “Letter From Home” was released in March 2011, with the Junior Mance Trio’s upcoming CD due to be released in May 2012.