In Full Swing

Gypsy swing electrifies the Schimmel Theatre as Pace Presents brings Django’s Dream, a Gypsy swing festival, to the NYC Campus on September 28.

On Saturday, September 28, a group of the world’s leading Gypsy jazz guitarists will bring the work of the late, great French guitarist and composer, Django Reinhardt on the Schimmel stage. For one unforgettable night, Django’s Dream celebrates Gypsy swing of the 1930s in unexpected ways under the artistic direction of guitarist and composer Stephane Wrembel. Wrembel, who has been called “a revelation” by Rolling Stone and who composed the music for Woody Allen’s last two films will be joined by Kamlo, who interprets Django via the Mediterranean, and Flamenco and Gypsy swing-style guitar master Alfonso Ponticelli.

The electrifying sounds of three of the world’s leading Gypsy jazz artists—who each share a deep knowledge of Django’s style yet express it in individual ways—will move effortlessly between beloved Gypsy jazz standards and stunning improvisations ending in a spectacular super jam finale. Artists will also be joined by Django’s granddaughter, Dotschy Reinhardt.

So who was Django and why was he considered one of the greatest jazz guitar players of all time? Django Reinhardt learned to play the violin and banjo in the traditional Roma practice of “playing by ear” and mimicking the fingering of older generations. By the age of 13, he was making a living off of his musical gifts. When Django was 18, a fire left his left ring and pinky fingers paralyzed and doctors doubted that he would ever be able to play guitar again. Refusing to give up on his musical career, Django retaught himself to play the guitar, making use of only two fingers. Django’s ability to triumph has inspired many musicians throughout history, including Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, who both lost fingers to accidents.

$5 student balcony tickets are available for advance purchase at the box office. Student rush orchestra tickets are available for purchase at the box office on the day of the performance (subject to availability). All student tickets are cash sales only. For more information, visit http://schimmel.pace.edu. You can also read more about this event on the Schimmel blog.

Wondering if there’s a connection between Django Reinhardt and Django Unchained? Pace Presents blogger Michael Torbet breaks it down for you in his latest Vlog.