Who’s Django and Where Would He Go?
By Kristin Hashimoto
He is credited with creating “hot jazz,” played all over Paris and in America, and jammed with the jazz elite of the 1900s. Jean “Django” Reinhardt was a guitar genius who was a force in the gypsy jazz guitar musical style. Born in Belgium, this Romani gypsy will be honored on Sunday, June 5, at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. The John Jorgenson Quintet and Hot Club of Hulaville will play sizzling hot jazz in homage to 100 years of Django’s contribution to music, and more specifically, Jazz.
Oahu’s Hot Club of Hulaville featuring Duane Padilla, Emmet Mahoney, Ricardo Diaz, Sonny Silva and Ginai will get the night started with chill-club music. Then Grammy award winning, John Jorgenson, known as the “U.S. ambassador of gypsy jazz,” will take the stage.
The concert begins at 6:00 p.m., but come early to listen to artists and students jamming for free at 4:00 p.m. in the Haynes Meeting Room at the MACC. At 3:00 p.m. choose between a gypsy jazz violin workshop with Jason Anick of the John Jorgenson quintet, or a guitar workshop with Jorgenson himself. Tickets are $20. Scholarships are available. Call 283-3576 for more information.
Django, meaning “I awake” in Romani, certainly “awoke” the masses to his particular chord-work, composition and guitar and banjo style. Born and raised in poor gypsy encampments, Django refused to buckle under the strain of the challenges he faced. After a horrible burn accident left portions of his hand and body paralyzed, Django relearned the guitar and played in a completely new way. His inventive playing style, born entirely from necessity, (due to his injured digits), became part of this jazz movement.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. This show is part of the “Django Would Go!” music Maui Invitational Music Festival of 2011, presented to Maui by the Arts Education for Children Group.
Purchase your passport to gypsy jazz at the MACC box office, online at www.mauiarts.org, or call 242-(SHOW) for more information and ticket reservation. If you’re a member of the MACC or HPR, ask about applicable discounts for this show.