Ventura Music Festival – Ventura CA

MC17 – Django AllStars & Red Dito

From Executive Director Susan Scott

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to present MC17, with the sensational Django AllStars bringing the swing-jazz music of the great Romani-French guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910-53) fully into the 21st Century. After losing two fingers in an accident, Reinhardt developed a unique technique around his disability and, together with violin great Stephane Grapelli, took Paris and the world by storm in the 1930’s and 40’s with the swinging, guitar-dominant style that became known as “hot jazz” and later, “gypsy jazz.” 

While honoring the traditions of the “French Gypsy Jazz” created by Reinhardt and Grapelli, the Django AllStars add their own virtuosic interpretations and original compositions to the music. The band has played every major jazz venue in the world, including Newport, Birdland, the Kennedy Center and the Playboy Jazz Festival and were to perform in this year’s VMF festival now rescheduled for 2021. 

For now, we have their music playing in combination with painter Red Dito’s wild and wonderful artwork in tribute to Serge Gainsbourg. The celebrated French poet, songwriter, singer and actor loomed large in his country’s cultural life from the 1960’s ’til his death in 1991. This exuberant art-filled video transported me to Paris and a cafe’ I named “Café La Javanais” after the Gainsbourg song the Django AllStars are performing.

I hope the video transports you somewhere too, but before you take off please note the two Save the Dates that follow. Then go.

Take care.