What Is Gypsy Jazz?
Gypsy jazz or sometimes called jazz manouche is amazing because of the sheer emotional intensity. Credited to Belgian-born French Django Reinhardt, this style of music is still thriving now with diverse groups from around the world performing this music including United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, United States and even in Malaysia. In the beginning, I listened to a lot of Django Reinhardt through different compilation albums. Later on, I found out about different players and started exploring their playing.
How Gypsy Began
Gypsy jazz really started as an acoustic style of music. Looking at the guitar style, the core of the sound relies deeply on making a very clear intense acoustic tone. Part of this developed because in the beginning, this music didn’t require the use of amplification. As a result, the guitar players developed a style of playing that allowed them to play very loud and fast. They used thick picks and used specific picking patterns that made each note sound loud and clear.
It’s About Stirring Up Emotions
Putting technical considerations aside, the gypsy music comes from the soul combined with technical virtuosity. Some people feel happy listening to up-tempo pieces like ‘All Of Me’ and others shed tears at the beauty of a ballad like ‘Nuages’.
My Love Affair With Gypsy Jazz
I was lucky to be exposed to this style when I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area playing with a group called Jazz Mine. Performing with them always challenged me and made me feel more excited about early jazz. The most interesting part of the gigs with Jazz Mine was that we often played at a Chinese restaurant on Solano Avenue in North Berkeley. It was an interesting mix playing this high energy jazz an drinking hot chinese tea in between the sets!
Moving back to Kuala Lumpur, it was amazing to meet great musicians here that were passionate about the style! I’ve been playing with the Swing Kings, a group led by the Danis brothers – two violinists in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. We did two concerts for the evening Happy Hour series in April and November in 2012.
After a long hiatus, we have an upcoming show this Wednesday night on 2 April at 6:30pm!
14 world-class musicians!
The upcoming show is really special as we have many guests this time with a total of 14 musicians from 8 different countries. You’ll get to listen to swing classics like ‘I Found a New Baby’, ‘Dark Eyes’, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova masterpiece ‘How Insensitive’, ‘Angel Eyes’ sung by Joe Pruessner and ‘Georgia on my Mind’ with Poova on vocals.
Also, you might even hear a tango!
The amazing musicians include:
Miroslav Danis – Violin
Peter Danis – Violin
Wan Gigi – Guitar
Az Samad – Guitar
Joe Pruessner – Bass and Vocals
Matt Larsen – Clarinet
Patrick Terbrack – Saxophone
Marques Young – Trombone
Poova – Vocals
Adriane Palikat – Drums
Juan Pablo – Guitar
Ivan Torres – Cello
Stig Nilsson – Violin
Akiko Danis – Piano
More more details on Swing Kings and Friends, visit here: https://www.facebook.com/events/709406899103258/
No need to queue or drive out to purchase your tickets, just get them online here: http://www.mpo.com.my/Upcoming-Performances/Following-Concerts/MPO-Jam-Busters-(2).aspx?docid=3323&perfname=MPO+Jam-Busters