Join us and other Gypsy Jazz fans, players and enthusiasts from around the world, for our 11th year of DjangoFest Mill Valley! This year’s festival offers an incredible series of concerts, workshops and impromptu ‘Djam’ sessions, featuring top, internationally-renowned players mixing it up with local stars and aficionados of the genre.
Friday evening at 8pm we premiere the German Gypsy ‘Guitar Monster’, Joscho Stefan, whose mastery of the guitar is stunning. Opening the evening, in their DjangoFest début, are the highly acclaimed East Coast favourites, Occidental Gypsy. After the show join us for a celebratory Festival Opening Night Party at Vasco Restaurant.
Opening the evening is the incredible, Trio Dinicu, one of fastest rising groups on the scene, with their exquisitely modern take on traditional Roma and Eastern European music, featuring a special appearance by the legendary Sinti bassist, Frank Anastasio.
On Sunday the concert kicks off at 5pm with the Rhythm Future Quartet, led by Jason Anick and the Finnish phenomena, Olli Soikkeli. Nothing short of amazing, they are known for their highly original displays of virtuosity. Closing the show will be our festival highlight, an up-on-your-feet festival finale, Euro Djam, featuring both Olli and Jason along with Paulus Schäfer, Tim Kliphuis, Simon Planting, Ivan Pena and more! Celebrate after the concert at our Closing Night Party and toast a tremendous 11th year along with the musicians who inspired us!
As always, we offer a world class series of workshops, designed for both the beginner and the advanced, with openings for both guitarist and violinists interested in pursuing this style. See the workshop schedule below:
Friday June 12th
12:00-1:30 Jason Vanderford – The Essential Gypsy Swing Rhythm Workshop
2:00-3:30 Joscho Stephan – Gypsy Jazz Guitar Inside-Out
Saturday June 13th
12:00-1:30 Paulus Schäfer Gypsy Jazz – “The Dutch Style”
2:00-3:30 Frank Anastasio and Tommy Davy – Authentic Gypsy Guitar
2:00-3:30 Luanne Homzy – The Gypsy Virtuoso (for violin)
Sunday June 14th
12:00-1:30 Jason Anick – Swing Fiddle
12:00-1:30 Tim Kliphuis Grappelli – Licks on Your Favorite Gypsy Jazz Songs
12:00-1:30 Olli Soikkeli – Developing Your Own Style
FEATURED FESTIVAL ARTISTS
Hot Club of Holland
Paulus Schäfer – Guitar
Tim Kliphuis – Violin
Simon Planting – Bass
One of the great hot beds of contemporary Gypsy Jazz is Holland, and this lineup is among the best there can be! Among them, this group of extraordinary musicians represents every facet of Gypsy Jazz music from heritage and culture to innovation, musicianship and leadership in the greatest Gypsy Jazz bands during the last 20 years.
Paulus Schäfer is an exceptional representative of the internationally renowned Dutch School of Gypsy jazz. He grew up in a Sinti community on a caravan camp in Nuenen, Holland, where everyday was spent playing with teachers as Waso Grünholz and Stochelo Rosenberg.
The Neatherland’s Tim Kliphuis is an award-winning violinist and a legend in the Gypsy Jazz world. He has worked with the “best of the best” including The Rosenberg Trio, Fapy Lafertin and Angelo Debarre. He has performed at all the major Django festivals worldwide and is seen by many as the inheritor of Stéphane Grappelli’s crown. His latest CD, “The Grappelli Album”, has received rave reviews.
Simon Planting is the undisputed leader among Gypsy jazz bassists, having played with the crème de la crème of jazz manouche guitarists such as Fapy Lafertin, Jimmy Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, Dorado, Tchavalo and Samson Schmitt, Robin Nolan, Andreas Oberg, John Jorgenson, Gonzalo Bergara, and other jazz greats, Larry Coryell, Bill Frisell, and Howard Alden to name a few. The Dutch native, who now lives in San Francisco, has toured the world numerous times playing Gypsy Jazz, and he has been a player on countless classic recordings of Gypsy Jazz during the past 30 years.
Rhythm Future Quartet
Jason Anick – Violin
Olli Soikkeli – Guitar
Greg Loughman – Bass
When four young jazz virtuosos decided to join forces, the Rhythm Future Quartet was born. Named after the Django Reinhardt tune, the Rhythm Future Quartet performs dynamic and fiery arrangements of Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions. The quartet features Jason Anick on violin, Olli Soikkeli on guitar, and Greg Loughman on bass. Over the years they have individually been performing alongside top Gypsy jazz/swing musicians like John Jorgenson, Frank Vignola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Andreas Öberg, Mark O’Connor, and Howard Alden and have finally joined forces to form this special group.
“Collective jaws dropped at the sheer virtuosity of The Rhythm Future Quartet! The group’s stellar musicianship, good humor, and reverence for this important musical tradition made for an unforgettable evening. We can’t wait to have them back!”– Dana Packard, The Saco River Theatre
Joscho Stephan- Guitar
When Joscho Stephan first arrived on the scene at the Samois Django Reinhardt Festival, more than ten years ago, the grounds were soon abuzz over this young German Gypsy ‘guitar monster’. Since then he has become an international musical sensation, known for having the amazing ability to play nearly anything you or he can imagine. Besides his incredible “chops”and imagination, he has a willingness to explore and take chances that brings audiences back time and again to see his astonishing feats of digital dexterity, which is why we are pleased to be bringing Joscho back to DjangoFest Mill Valley for another dazzling display of six-stringed pyrotechnics.
Luanne Homzy – Violin
Tommy Davy – Guitar
Frank Anastasio – Bass, Vocals
Hailed as “dazzling” by the San Francisco Chronicle, L.A.’s Trio Dinicu combines the forces of three world-class musicians – a lightning-fast violinist with touching expressivity, a virtuoso guitarist with Gypsy authenticity and a legendary Parisian bassist with deep soul – who bridge the gaps of classical, jazz and folklore, expanding these genres as never before.
Highly regarded for their unique creativity, Trio Dinicu blends the depth of classical training with the spontaneity of jazz and the excitement of the European folk tradition. They have performed for enthusiastic audiences across the United States and Canada at venues such as Djangofest Northwest in Washington and Music By The Sea at Bamfield in Canada, as well as on American National Public Radio. They have also engaged in performances for the under-privileged in collaboration with the L.A. based musical activists from Street Symphony.
Their repertoire consists of traditional pieces – folk, gypsy, classical or jazz – that the Trio reinvents in its own language, leaving the listener in awe and always wanting more.
Eli Bishop – violin
Jeff Feldman- bass
Jeremy Frantz – vocals & guitar
Erick Cifuentes – percussion
Brett Feldman – lead guitar
Occidental Gypsy’s sound appeals to a wide spectrum of listeners, and their shows consistently draw enthusiastic audiences at colleges, arts centers, festivals and clubs. The band has found a unique, artful beat and plays a dynamic mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces– as well as a few memorable standards– in fun, exhilarating performances. Occidental Gypsy’s music cannot be easily classified; a bit of jazz,a catchy strain of pop, and “a whole lotta’ gypsified swing…”
Occidental Gypsy features award-winning violin prodigy Eli Bishop who recently toured with Wynton Marsalis and has also played with Bill Evans of the Miles Davis Group. This national touring act has played at the legendary Nighttown in Cleveland, Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and Blue Wisp in Cincinnati.