Gypsy Jazz In Paradise Added to Crested Butte Music Festival Roster


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Jazz has long been part of the 15th annual Crested Butte Music Festival's lineup, but this year the focus is on a truly unique style of music attributed to legendary French/Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. “Gypsy Jazz In Paradise," presented by the Crested Butte Music Festival and DjangoFest(TM), is slated for the weekend of August 12th through the 14th at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Mt. Crested Butte, Colo.

Born into a family of Romani gypsies, 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.

Schedule & Tickets: Gypsy Jazz in Paradise will present three days of concerts and workshops featuring several of gypsy jazz's most celebrated performers including Mango Fan Django, Robin Nolan, Gonzalo Bergara and Kruno Spisic.
  • Aug. 12—Mango Fan Django and the Robin Nolan Trio will launch the festival with a concert at the Mountaineer Square Ballroom starting at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $30.
  • Aug. 13—The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet and Kruno Spisic will perform at Butte 66 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30.
  • Aug. 14—Gypsy Jazz In Paradise wraps up with brunch mid-mountain at Uley's Cabin and a performance by Robin Nolan, Gonzalo Bergara, Kruno Spisic and other gypsy jazz musicians at 11 a.m. The price is $55 including brunch.
Tickets to each performance can be purchased separately or a three-day Gypsy Jazz In Paradise pass is available for $100 and includes brunch on Aug. 14. To purchase tickets and find out about workshops, go to www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.com.

Mango fan Django has been playing gypsy jazz in Colorado since 1998 and is known for a unique style of acoustic guitar swing that has delighted audiences of all ages. The group includes Archtop Eddy, lead guitar; Stefan Doucette, rhythm guitar; Don Doucette, rhythm guitar; and Brian Hofflander, upright bass. Inspired by Django Reinhardt's gypsy jazz and the Hot Club of France, the band's sound also sends a wink to jump swing hepcats of the '40s and Caribbean and Latin sounds of the '50s, '60s and beyond. Visit www.mangofandjango.com.

Robin Nolan has been lauded for his musical genius and sensibilities by the late George Harrison, Willie Nelson, and The Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. Nolan has played with every major gypsy jazz artist and at every major gypsy jazz festival in the world, playing venues from Europe and Asia to North America, the Middle East, and Australia. While his inspiration lies in gypsy jazz, Latin and Hot Club de France, Nolan's music has a contemporary feel and features his own expressive “je ne sais quoi." The Robin Nolan Trio consists of Nolan on lead guitar; Chris Sartisohn, rhythm guitar; and Joe Kyle, upright bass. Find out more at www.robinnolan.com.

The internationally-acclaimed Gonzalo Bergara Quartet reflects influences by gypsy jazz, traditional jazz, and hints of music from Bergara's native Buenos Aires. By age 17, Bergara was fronting his own blues trio on national television. Since arriving in the United States in 2000, he has recorded with hundreds of artists including Tim Hausser of The Manhattan Transfer, Sylvie Vartan, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, and Howard Alden. Bergara toured the world extensively with the John Jorgenson Quintet, before creating his own quartet featuring himself on lead guitar; Rob Hardt, clarinet and tenor sax; Jeffrey Radaich, rhythm guitar; and Brian Netzley, upright bass. Go to www.gonzalobergara.com.

Growing up in a Croatian household, Krunoslav “Kruno" Spisic began musical training at the age 10, first on a tambura, a four-tone mandolin from the Balkans. In his teens, Spisic took up guitar, studying rock and blues, honing his technical prowess and improvisational abilities, and beginning a passionate study of the gypsy jazz genre. He created a new branch of gypsy jazz by fusing Eastern European folk traditions with Django swing. Spisic has performed at festivals and jazz clubs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. Joining him for Gypsy Jazz In Paradise will be Vlado on accordion, Chris Sartisohn playing rhythm guitar and Joe Kyle on upright bass. Visit www.kruno.net.

Festival Information: Visit www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.com or call (970) 349-0619 for tickets and more information about the Crested Butte Music Festival, which runs from July 3—Aug. 14 and features bluegrass, opera, chamber, symphony, family concerts and more.

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