Arts & Culture Calendar / Events Maplewood

‘Django A Go Go’ Guitar Festival Returns To Maplewood May 1-6

From the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs:

Stephane Wrembel

Beginning May 1st, an elite group of virtuoso guitarists from around the globe will take up residence in the leafy suburb of Maplewood, NJ to be part in the 2nd Annual Django A Go Go Music Festival.

Consisting of workshops, informal jams and public performances, the Festival is hosted by its founder, Maplewood resident and award winning musician Stephane Wrembel. Best known for his Grammy Award winning composition “Bistro Fada” from the Oscar Award-winning film “Midnight In Paris”, Wrembel is also ranked as one of this generation’s preeminent guitarists specializing in the unique style of Gypsy Jazz legend Django Reinhardt (pronounced Jango).

As liaison from the Township who worked with Mr. Wrembel to bring the Festival to Maplewood, Office of Cultural Affairs Manager Andrew Fishman called the level of artistry on display at the first Django A Go Go in 2017 “over the top”. “Concerts like these don’t happen is small town community centers” he said, adding “a gathering of great musicians like this is only possible because Stephane is one of their own”.

Highlighting the Festival in Maplewood will be three public performances May 2, 3 & 4, at the Woodland, each with a different theme and group of musicians. Don’t be surprised to see guest artists sit in with band at each performance.

Wednesday May 2 at 8:00 PM

“Django and the Gypsies: A Thousand Year Musical Journey”

The Stephane Wrembel Band, Josh Kaye and special guests!

The opening concert of Django A GoGo explores the evolution of this unique style on a musical journey presented by Festival founder Stephane Wrembel along with his phenomenal band and special guests.

Thursday May 3 at 8:00 PM

Daisy Castro’s Hot Club, a tribute to Stephane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France

Daisy Castro, Sara L’Abriola, Pierre “KAMLO” Barré, Ari Folman-Cohen, Josh Kaye and master percussionist David Langlois on washboard.

Essential to the historic sound of Django Reinhardt was the soaring strings of legendary violinist and longtime bandmate Stephane Grappelli. Daisy Castro is one of the few violinists who has mastered Grappelli’s singular technique so expect an amazing evening of virtuoso pyrotechnics.

Friday May 4 at 8:00 PM

Paulus Schafer and Olli Soikkeli Nuclear Gypsy Swing featuring Josh Kaye and Ari Folman-Cohen

Dutch guitarist Paulus Schafer is considered by his peers to be one of the world’s great masters in the Django style. The Wall Street Journal called Olli Soikkeli from Finland “among the worthiest current day successors to the legacy of the great Django”. Together, these two celebrated artists will provide the foundation for an all-star concert that is sure to prove an epic coda to this series of memorable performances.

For more information about The Django A Go Go Festival in Maplewood: Django at the Woodland. All Maplewood concerts will be at the Woodland located at 60 Woodland rd. Maplewood NJ 07040. Tickets for the Maplewood shows are $30 each (or $70 for all three) and are available at www.mt.cm/django-gogo-2018

The Django A Go Go Festival All-Star Concert at Town Hall in New York City Saturday May 5 at 8:00 PM

Featuring: Stochelo Rosenberg, Simba Baumgartner Paulus Schafer, Olli Soikkeli, Daisy Castro, Sara L’ABriola, Thor Jensen, Ari Folman-Cohen, Nick Anderson and many others

Django A-Go-Go Music Camp

From Wednesday, May 2 – Saturday May 6, thirty guitarists who have paid the $950 tuition will

participate in workshops and masterclasses conducted by many of the guitarists performing as part of The Django A-Go-Go Festival. Expect to see guitar cases tucked in corners at local restaurants or slung over the backs of pedestrians on Maplewood Avenue.

ALL THOSE PARTICIPATING IN THE CAMP AND FESTIVAL WILL BE DINING AND SHOPPING LOCALLY. SPONSORSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE AND RESTAURANT OWNERS AND MERCHANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS TO PROMOTE THEIR BUSINESSES.

Who was Django Reinhardt?

Regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) was a hugely influential jazz artist whose unique, technically groundbreaking style spawned a musical genre all its own.

“Django Reinhardt remains the greatest jazz musician Europe ever produced and the most celebrated icon of the Gypsies. That he was able to revolutionize guitar playing with only two functioning fingers on his left hand – he lost the others in a fire – only adds to his legend. Pretty much every guitar maestro has paid homage: BB King, Julian Bream, Hank Marvin, Robert Fripp and Carlos Santana are all fans; Jimi Hendrix formed his Band of Gypsies in honor of Reinhardt.”

-The Guardian Newspaper 2010

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