Pearl Django at Jazz Alley this week

Posted 3 January, 2013 in Seattle Jazz - Comments Off comments

Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents gypsy jazz artists Pearl Django in support of their new release Eleven. Joining Pearl Django will be special guest vocalist Connie Evingson. Band members include Troy Chapman (guitar), and Ryan Hoffman (Guitar), Rick Leppanen (bass), Michael Gray (violin), and David Lange (accordion). Set times Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00 pm Wednesday and 5:30pm all other nights.

Entering their sixteenth year of performing Pearl Django continues to be one of America’s most respected and busiest Hot Club style groups. Though still strongly influenced by the music of Django Reinhardt, Pearl Django’s repertoire now includes many original compositions. Their music reaches out across the divides of taste to a wide variety of audiences. The band’s fervent followers include Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli fans, guitar enthusiasts, lovers of string music, including bluegrass devotees, who relish nimble, clean, intricate picking, “world music” fans drawn to French and Gypsy accents, plus jazz buffs and aficionados of the new swing music. Transcending simple categorization, Pearl Django packs in enthusiastic audiences at dancehalls and nightclubs, at folk music festivals and jazz festivals alike.

The newest release by Pearl Django, Eleven (2012), showcases an even further evolving sound than their earlier recordings. While Pearl Django wears their love of Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz on their sleeves, they also display a unique ability to stretch the genre in new directions. Eleven features a majority of original compositions, including two by Martin Taylor, their special guest on this CD. All of the group’s members contribute compositions to the repertoire. Eleven also solidifies a change in group personnel as Pearl Django founder Neil Andersson leaves the rigors of life on the road to enjoy the life of a painter while the new disc is the first full album length collaboration between guitarists Ryan Hoffman and Troy Chapman. Released to critical acclaim in June 2012, Eleven made it to #2 on the “US Roots Chart” and had a solid ten week run in the Jazz Week Top 40. JazzTimes says of Eleven in its recent review that it “points to the charm, wit, swing and lyricism that await Pearl Django devotees and newcomers alike. Small wonder that Martin Taylor was happy to oblige.” And, that indeed, is the Gypsy swing or ‘hot club’ sound that’s made Pearl Django a worldwide favorite.

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