The great 30s and 40s Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli sound will be hitting Chichester for the Festivities in the shape of Radio Daze (Old Kitchen, Bishop’s Palace, Friday, July 8, 7.30pm).
The band will be combining South American rhythms, Gypsy waltzes, Gershwin, Ellington, Porter with just a touch of the early blues.
David Ahmed and Faebhean Kwest (guitars) are joined by Francesca Rogerson (violin) and Martin Whittaker (bass) in a combination which goes back to 2003, as David explains.
“We all met at Le QuecumBar in Battersea which is like a Django Reinhardt bar where jazz musicians go and meet each other.
“The origins of the music go back to the l930s and 40s when Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli started playing this sort of music. It was really like European jazz, not black American jazz with horns and drums, but European jazz with strings.
“If you go on iTunes you can find lots of Django music from the origins, but this music is very much a live culture. There are gypsy tribes in France and Holland that play the music today.
“In this country it is a small niche market, but it is very much a growing market. I personally got into the style in the mid-90s and but if you compare it now in this country to how it was then, you can see just how much it has developed since then; you can see it just from Le QuecumBar and the amount of material out there. I really got into it when I saw a Channel 4 documentary about Django and his legacy. That really opened my eyes to this style of music.”
It’s music to which the performers can add something of themselves.
“Every time we play, we create new. We play the themes, but the improvisations come out of the moment. Each rendition is different. It’s jazz. There is a lot of scope for bringing yourself into it, and also, it’s just a combination of us. We play it in a way that is unique to us, and I am not meaning to say that in a big-headed way. There is scope for us as individuals and personalities within the music.”
Tickets on 01243 780192 or www.chifest.org.uk.