Django’s Gypsy jazz birthday party comes to BI

Gypsy jazz musicians from around Puget Sound will celebrate Django Reinhardt’s 108th birthday with a special group concert event from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19 at the Treehouse Café.

Reinhardt was an itinerant Gypsy who earned international acclaim in the 1930s. Many of his compositions became jazz classics and he is considered one of the top guitar soloists of all time. Duke Ellington referred to Django as “the most creative jazz musician to originate anywhere outside the United States.”

Decades later, Jerry Garcia said, “Even today, nobody has really come to the state that he was playing at…nobody plays with the whole fullness of expression that Django had.”

The concert will feature local gypsy jazz band Ranger and the Re-Arrangers, plus guest appearances by many of Puget Sound’s top gypsy jazz musicians, and the evening will feature songs from their repertoire of swing standards, traditional gypsy melodies and, of course, several of Reinhardt’s compositions.

Group frontman and violinist Ranger Sciacca said, “Our goal is to make this a really fun show, featuring as many great musicians and different instruments as we can.”

Admission is free. Donations are accepted.

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