David Grisman Sextet
The Freight swings like it’s never swung before when the Esprit de Django et Stephane Festival sets the stage sizzling with three nights of music and a Saturday open house featuring workshops, performances, and a panel discussion inspired and influenced by the legendary jazz band, Quintette du Hot Club de France. Fronted by gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and virtuoso violinist Stephane Grappelli, the Paris-based combo revolutionized jazz in the 1930s and 40s by applying an irresistible, string-fueled propulsion to the more sedate big-band sound of the time. This weekend’s festival showcases some modern heirs of Django and Stephane’s hot jazz sound, including festival house band George Cole & Eurocana who open all three nights of the festival, and Hot Club of Marin, who entertain in the lobby before tonight's show.
The Bay Area’s own David Grisman is a direct link to the spirit of Django and Stephane. David met Stephane while writing the score for the 1978 movie, King of the Gypsies. The two play on the soundtrack and appear in brief cameos as Romani musicians. Soon after their cinematic foray, they began performing together and recorded a great album, Stephane Grapelli/David Grisman Live, playing classics like “Satin Doll” and Django’s “Swing.” Joining them in several performances, incidentally, was David Balakrishnan, who went on to co-found the Turtle Island Quartet.
David Grisman began his professional career in 1964 with Red Allen and the Kentuckians. He started the Even Dozen Jug Band with John Sebastian and Maria Muldaur, and Old and in the Way with Peter Rowan and Jerry Garcia. Since then, he’s gone on to explore jazz and swing and just about every other musical influence in his own unique brand of what he calls “dawg” music, a highly intricate, richly textured blend of styles and traditions from around the world.
Tonight, the mandolin maestro returns to his swing jazz sweet spot, joined by his usual all-star lineup of stalwarts ��" Grant Gordy on guitar, George Marsh on drums, Matt Eakle on flute, Jim Kerwin on bass, and Mike Barnett on fiddle. Everyone in the band has a long list of credits ��" but suffice it to say that these dawgs can hunt! Their shows usually sell out, so get your tickets early.