Djangofest Northwest kicks off today

Now in its 11th season, Djangofest Northwest brings a world-class musical lineup to Langley on Whidbey Island to celebrate the music and spirit of Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz.

Presented by the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, this unique blend of Eastern European melodies, Parisian Musette, Spanish Flamenco and American Swing was created and perfected by the genius of Django Reinhardt and his fellow Gypsy musicians in the Cafes of Paris during the thirties and forties, and is quickly becoming one the most distinctive and enjoyed jazz hybrids on the music scene today.

Artists scheduled to perform this year range from local favorites to world-class international recording artists, making it the the premier showcase of Gypsy Jazz in North America.

Performers this year include violinist/composer, Mark O’Connor, with his Hot Swing band playing in the style he came to love while touring with Stephane Grappelli. Martin Taylor will be playing with Seattle’s own Pearl Django and as a special treat Howard Alden is joined by Anat Cohen from Tel Aviv for an extraordinary guitar clarinet duet. Also, the great Gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg will be joined by Canadian guitarist Denis Chang and bassist Beau Sample. Gonzalo Bergara and Adrien Moignard, incredible guitarists individually, will join together for what promises to be a classic performance.

In addition to the performances, there will be a number of workshops, unannounced local acts, surprise guests and jam sessions in local pubs and cafes.

Djangofest runs Sept. 21-25. A complete schedule can be found at the Djangofest Northwest website.