The exotic swing of Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France takes the Algonquin stage this Sunday at 3 p.m. as the Algonquin opens its inaugural Jazz Series.
Jazz clarinet virtuoso Dan Levinson leads his group Fête Manouche that includes Vinny Raniolo on guitar, Jordan Hyde on guitar, Rob Adkins on bass and Molly Ryan on guitar & vocals.
The concert is the first of a three-part Jazz Series which after opening on November 15, continues on February 21 and May 1, 2016. All series concerts being at 3 p.m. The series was put together in collaboration with Dan Levinson, who appeared at the Algonquin last August with his Swing Wing and in the summer of 2014 in the Benny Goodman tribute Clarinet A La King
Jazz Manouche – literally “gypsy jazz” – is an exotic brand of swing music, born in France in the early 1930s. The lord and master of Jazz Manouche was Django Reinhardt, a gypsy born in Belgium in 1910. In 1934 he began a series of recordings with a group called the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. These recordings have become the foundation for a massive group of devoted Django followers throughout the world, to whom Jazz Manouche is more than a kind of music: it’s a way of life.
Levinson discovered Jazz Manouche while living in Paris in the early 1990s and was mesmerized. In 2004 he assembled Fête Manouche and since then has been keeping the Django legacy alive in the New York area, captivating audiences both young and young at heart.
The Mississippi Rag calls Levinson the “in-demand reedman.” A specialist in traditional jazz and swing, Levinson is indeed one of the most prolific musicians on the scene today. Though based in New York City, his busy schedule often takes him across the country and around the world.
During a twenty-year career, he has appeared alongside such prominent artists as Dick Hyman, Mel Tormé, Wynton Marsalis, Ed Polcer, Howard Alden, Joe Ascione, Dan Barrett, Jon-Erik Kellso, Randy Reinhart, Mark Shane, Kevin Dorn, Dick Sudhalter, Frank Vignola, Randy Sandke, and John Cocuzzi.
He has performed on more than 75 albums, including seven under his own name. He can also be heard on the soundtracks to the films Ghost World, The Cat’s Meow, and Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator.
The second concert in the series will be “Steppin’ Out With The Lost Generation” which will feature the music the wild Parisian parties of the 1920s. This concert recreates the sounds when that inspired a who’s who from the Lost Generation including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso and many more. Dazzling washboard player and enchanting vocalist Stéphane Séva from France makes a rare appearance on this side of the Atlantic
The series concludes on May 1 with “Swing! Swing! Swing! The Greatest Hits of the Big Band” performed by James Langton and the New York All-Star Big Band. This concert will also feature Gimme Four, a vocal quartet that will recreate the sounds of the Modernaires with Glenn Miller and the Pied Pipers with Tommy Dorsey.
Tickets start at $29 for adults, $26 for seniors and $20 for students and can be purchased online at algonquinarts.org, by phone at 732-528-9211 and at the Algonquin Box Office at 173 Main Street in Manasquan, New Jersey.