DjangoFest Mill Valley 2017!
Opening Night Concert

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Welcome to our 13th year of DjangoFest Mill Valley, celebrating the infectious music and spirit of the great French/Belgian Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt!  We have a tremendous, world-class line-up this year with three nights of concerts and various workshops, informal djams and festival parties.

The festival features 3 epic concerts plus an all-star “Djam” performance and 2 days of intensive workshops. The lineup of musicians includes Swedish Gustav Lundgren Trio with Gustav Lundgren, Martin Vidlund, and Andreas Unge; the Jimmy Grant Ensemble with Jimmy Grant, Javi Jiménez, Sascha Jacobsen, and Evan Price; Trio Dinicu with Luanne Homzy, Tommy Davy, and Brian Netzley; and Samson Schmitt with Tim Kliphuis, Jason Vanderford and Simon Planting!


Enjoy reserved seating for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night concerts. Concerts Only
You will pick up your pass from the box office on Opening Night (4/28), after 7:30pm.



Friday, April 28  Opening Night

8pm (Doors 7pm) – Concert

Come early to catch part of the djam upfront and enjoy some of the special wine selections!  Concert kicks off at 8pm! Featuring the talented Jimmy Grant Ensemble, followed by the incredible Swedish Gustav Lundgren Trio featuring one of Sweden’s most prominent jazz guitarists Gustav Lundgren – Guitar, Martin Vidlund – Guitar and Andreas Unge – Double Bass.

Saturday, April 29  Workshops & Concert

Noon – Workshop with Gustav Lundgren

Gustav much like his Swedish colleague and friend Andreas Öberg started his career playing modern jazz in the 1990’s inspired by such players as Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Schofield and Pat Metheny before moving on to Gypsy Jazz in 2001.  But even these days Gustav is blending his contemporary playing with his Django sound.  His recently recorded a new album together with Jorge Rossy and Doug Weiss, demonstrating his very personal blend of bebop, gypsy jazz and modern sounds.

On this workshop we’ll focus only on solo playing.  We will learn different ways on playing over dominant cords and playing thru 2-5-1 progressions.  All this in a way you have never experienced before…

8pm (Doors 7pm) – Concert

The place will be humming with musicians and impromptu gatherings all leading up to this special concert featuring Samson Schmitt with Tim Kliphuis, Simon Planting and Jason Vanderford!

Sunday, April 30  Workshops PLUS All-Star Djam!

12pm – Workshop with Samson Schmitt

Samson will work on the Gypsy treatment of harmony, scales, chords and rhythm ( la ‘pompe’), techniques developed over many years of touring with his father and teaching numerous workshops around the world.   He will use a composition of his called Manouche Attitude – to include handouts of this tune.

2pm – Workshop with Jason Vanderford

Rhythm Guitar Workshop  “Strength and Dynamics in the Rhythm Chair”

In this workshop we will go over all the nuances of the rhythm guitar that Django Reinhardt himself developed spanning his career.  We will also focus on how to make your groove powerful, punchy yet relaxed at all tempos ranging from dreamy ballads to breakneck speed jams.  You will learn how this effects the other players in the ensemble, and how your role can elevate not only the lead player but also the entire room.  We will then apply these concepts to other kinds of rhythms typical in the genre of Manouche Jazz.  I have been fascinated by the rhythm chair for over a decade and still find it to be creative, thrilling and not in the least bit boring.  I will show folks the overlooked side of guitar playing and how this focus will ultimately improve their overall musicianship.

7pm (Doors 6pm) – Concert and All-Star Djam Finale

Featuring an all-star cast of players Trio DinicuSamson Schmitt, Gustav Lundgren, Tim Kliphuis, Tommy Davy, Simon Planting, Luanne Homzy and more!  These musicians will take your heart – if you are new to this genre you will be a die-hard fan by the end of tonight!



Gustav Lundgren – Guitar
Martin Vidlund – Guitar
Andreas Unge – Bass

Gustav Lundgren Trio was founded in 2011 in Stockholm. Gustav is known both in Sweden and abroad to be one of the world’s foremost interpreters of guitarist Django Reinhardt. He founded the group Hot Club de Suede with Andreas Öberg already in 2001. Now, after a number of CD releases and constant touring with everyone from Anne Sofie von Otter and September to Jimmy Rosenberg, Antoine Boyer & Jorge Rossy, Gustav Lundgren settles down with his trio in a delightful mix of music from all over the world.

They perform Django tunes and original material interspersed with compositions from Cuba, Brazil, Turkey, Venezuela, Norway, France, USA, Portugal and Spain. This is world music performed by a classical Gypsy Jazz Trio!  The latest album “”Bertheléville”” demonstrates the group’s musical verity.”

Gustav Lundgren is one of Sweden’s most prominent jazz guitarists right now. He was born in Stockholm 1980, started to play guitar at age 12. He studied music in Stockholm, Bollnäs and Svalöv between 1996-2000. Gustav started to play at clubs around Stockholm at age 16 and made his first tour to Spain with his own trio at age 19. Between 2000-2012 Gustav toured Japan, USA, Indonesia, England, Brazil, France, Syria, Turkey, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Italy, Algeria, Latvia, Switzerland, Austria, Moldova, Ukraine, Transnistria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway & Finland with different jazz groups. He has recorded over 55 albums as a side man and 15 as a leader. Gustav Lundgren has been working with names like: Jimmy Rosenberg, Jorge Rossy, Doug Weiss, Antoine Boyer, Lelo Nika, Dorado Schmitt, The Swedish House Mafia, Kleerup, September & Anne Sofie von Otter.


Jimmy Grant – Guitar
Javi Jiménez – Guitar
Sascha Jacobsen – Bass
Evan Price – Violin

Native to Northern California, Jimmy Grant grew up in a household full of rich musical influences. While his early influences also included Russian Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic and Classical, from a young age he gravitated towards the music of Django Reinhardt. He has studied with acclaimed guitarists Jim Nichols and Howard Alden, and in addition to Django Reinhardt, his other major musical influences are Bach, Benny Goodman, and Joe Pass. He has performed with artists such as David Grisman, Gonzalo Bergara, Ludovic Beier, Andreas Oberg, Tim Kliphuis, Paulus Schafer, Robin Nolan, Trio Dinicu, Rhythm Future Quartet, and the Hot Club of San Francisco, and has played at Djangofest Northwest and The New York Hot Jazz Festival.  In addition to performing, Jimmy teaches private students and has been on the faculty of the Django in June Festival in Massachusetts. Jimmy also writes for “Gypsy Jazz Secrets Magazine”. He has recorded two albums under his own name, as well as on several other jazz & rock albums. Jimmy’s original song “Insomnia” was a finalist in the John Lennon songwriting competition.


Samson Schmitt – Guitar
Tim Kliphuis – Violin

Jason Vanderford – Rhythm Guitar
Simon Planting – Bass

Samson’s sensational debut in Mill Valley in 2006 was the first time that he and Tim Kliphuis met on the stage. Since then, they’ve enjoyed a good number of concerts together. They return to California with an ace rhythm section to revisit the good old days and delve into new repertoire that will surprise and delight.

Samson Schmitt was taught the guitar by his father, gypsy legend Dorado Schmitt. He debuted in Birdland Jazz Club in 2002 and has been a regular visitor Stateside since. Through his regular CD releases with French jazzmen Hono Winterstein, Florin Niculescu, Yorgui Loeffler and, more recently, Ludovic Beyer, he has established himself as one of the top gypsy names worldwide.

Tim Kliphuis became known through his work with gypsy guitarist Fapy Lafertin in the early 2000s and has since then worked with a host of guitarists including Angelo Debarre, Paulus Schäfer and of course, The Rosenberg Trio. Lauded in the international classical concert scene, he brings Grappelli’s style to new audiences.

Jason Vanderford first heard the fierce sounds of Django Reinhardt back in 1996 when he was attending junior college… and was hooked ever since. He began studying the style seriously in early 2000’s and joined any group he could in the Bay Area that was playing in a swing tradition. When he joined the Hot Club of San Francisco he decided to focus absolutely on the rhythm guitar aspect of Manouche Jazz and swing. Since then he has played with countless wonderful musicians in either jam sessions, workshops or official gigs with musical heroes such as Howard Alden, Joscho Stephan, Charlie Baty, Sam Miltich, Doug Martin, Gonzalo Bergara, Lulo Reinhardt, Birelli Lagrene just to name a few. Jason currently plays with Michael Zisman’s Americano Social Club, The Seth Ford Young Quartet, Clint Baker’s New Orleans Jazz Band and leads his own band, Junk Parlor.

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.


Luanne Homzy – Violin
Tommy Davy – Guitar
Brian Netzley – Bass

Trio Dinicu combines the forces of three highly distinguished musicians. Luanne Homzy a world renowned concert violinist; Tommy Davy, a virtuoso guitarist of the young generation of Franco-Russian guitar; and Frank Anastasio, a legendary gypsy jazz bassist, vocalist, and guitarist.

Highly regarded for their creativity, Trio Dinicu blends acrobatic technique with the improvisatory language of jazz and the richness of Eastern European folk, including Romanian violin, Russian balalaika, and French “Jazz Hot”. They have performed for audiences across the United States, Europe and Canada.  Their music pays homage to the golden age of the Parisian-Russian cabaret. The Trio is named after the Romanian virtuoso violinist and composer Grigoras Ionica Dinicu, who influenced the one and only Jascha Heifetz and who was admired by Stephane Grappelli, the world’s most famous jazz violinist.



Julia Couzens and Jay-Allen Eisen
Jane Nydorf

April 28 2017


Date: Friday, April 28
Time: 8:00 pm
Cost: $38 - $65
Event Categories: , , ,


  • Friday, April 28 at 8:00pm: Opening Night Concert ft. Jimmy Grant Ensemble & Gustav Lundgren Trio
  • Saturday, April 29 at 12:00pm: Workshop with Gustav Lundgren
  • Saturday, April 29 at 8:00pm: Night 2 Concert ft. Samson Schmitt, Tim Kliphuis, Simon Planting & Jason Vanderford
  • Sunday, April 30 at 12:00pm: Workshop with Samson Schmitt
  • Sunday, April 30 at 2:00pm: Workshop with Jason Vanderford
  • Sunday, April 30 at 7:00pm: Finale Concert ft. Trio Dinicu PLUS All-Star Djam!

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