Frank Vignola is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitar List” for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola’s jaw-dropping technique explains why the New York Times deemed him “one of the brightest…stars of the guitar”. Frank will be joined by his full-time musical partner, Vinny Raniolo. Vinny is another amazing player, arranger and composer.
The world renowned and amazing young guitarist Olli Soikkeli was born in Nurmes, Finland in 1991. He started playing guitar at age of 12. After a few years of playing Olli was introduced to the music of great Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz has been Ollis main focus ever since. Soon Olli was playing in jazz clubs and festivals all around Finland. Despite his young age he’s already played with stars such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Andreas Öberg, Paulus Schäfer, Antti Sarpila and Marian Petrescu. In 2011 Olli recorded his first album “Trois Générations” with Hot Club de Finlande and Vitali Imereli and in 2012 he recorded his second album “Kouvola Junction” with Paulus Schäfer and Arnoud van den Berg.
You may know Shelby Eicher from his many years as violinist and fiddler for the country star, Roy Clark. From performing, recording and appearing on Hee Haw with Roy Clark for many years, Shelby has led the Tulsa Playboys and recorded with some true greats: J. J. Cale, Leon McAuliffe, Hank Thompson, The Tractors, Bruce Foreman to name a few. Ever being interested in education, Shelby has served as Education Director for the National Fiddler Hall Of Fame and taught many private students. It’s here that we see not only performer but composer emerge with this Gypsy influenced Jazz Quartet.
Mischievous Swing is a driving quartet that specializes in bringing Jazz to an acoustic context. Rooted in tradition, but also deeply committed to innovation, Mischievous Swing provides a refreshing voice in both Jazz and Acoustic genres. Covering the rich scope of Jazz, the band’s music invites the listener to take a journey as they experience the rhythms of Latin America, the sounds of French cafes and Gypsy camps, and the swing of Jazz Clubs in New York, Chicago or Kansas City.
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Evan Perri is the guitarist anf front man for the world famous band, Hot Club Detroit. Although he claims to have no Gypsy blood in him, Hot Club founder Evan Perri spent nearly six years roaming the campuses of five different colleges in search of the right music program. He studied jazz at Berkelee College of Music, Musictech College in Minneapolis, and Western Michigan before settling in at Wayne State University in Detroit. He is the son of a jazz guitarist, but Evan did not pick up a guitar until age 16 and never heard a Django Reinhardt recording until his twenties. However, while still a fan of greats like Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, he vividly remembers hearing Django for the first time and thinking, “This is it. This is what I’ve been looking for.” The HCOD was born out of his desire to recreate the sound he describes as “Parisian Café 1936, but with better sound equipment” in Detroit. Evan wowed the audience at the Django Gypsy Fest last year and we are elated that he can return again this year.
The only Pennsylvania based band in the festival, Hot Club du Jour features two wo guitars, violin and bass. They celebrate gypsy jazz in the tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. They are well know in York and surrounding counties and have a strong fan base in the region. You may have heard them at a Susquehanna Folk Music Society event. We are happy that they can open the Django Gypsy Fest this year.
Ameranouche features two French acoustic Gypsy jazz guitars and upright bass, and is a winner of Best of New Hampshire awards as well as being veterans of the famed Newport Jazz Festival. The group tours nationally, year-round, and has released two albums, largely of original music inspired by legendary Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt. National Lampoon director, Kevin Wheatley, calls Ameranouche “the new sound of America”. After hearing these folks sail through a melodious tune with such love, musicality, and signature, jaw-dropping velocity, you’ll be hard pressed not to agree. We welcome lead guitarist, Shep, back again and happy that he could bring his band with him to the Django Gypsy Fest this year.
Young violinist, Daisy Castro, started playing violin at the age of 6. She started out the usual way, with Suzuki and classical, but quickly learned to play by ear whatever her classical instructors could not teach her. The same year that she started playing, she took a trip to France with her parents, where she was first introduced to Gypsy Jazz. Intrigued as a listener from the start, over the years she has found this beautiful and passionate music to be a perfect fit for her playing style. She recorded and released her first solo CD, “Gypsy Moth” at the age of 13, and fittingly, it bears a strong Gypsy Jazz influence. The summer of the release of her recording, she attended Festival Django Reinhardt, in Samois sur Seine, France, and 3 months later, she attended Djangofest NW, in Washington state. In November, she found herself on stage at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC as a guest of the legendary Schmitt family! In September 2011, she returned to Djangofest Northwest as a performer, opening for festival headliner, Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing! Daisy is currently the “Artist in Residence” at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
French master guitarist, Adrien Moignard, has been taking the Gypsy Jazz world by storm. “I began playing guitar at the age of 12, but have always loved the violin. When I heard Django with Stephane Grappelli, I fell in love with their music,” says Adrien. Adrien was one of the featured soloists in the Selmer 607 project, a landmark album involving five Gypsy jazz-style guitarist virtuosi, each performing on one of the few Selmer petite bouche acoustic guitars still in playable condition. He is certain to be a stand-out that this year’s Django Gypsy Fest.
More to come!!