Choro in Gypsy Jazz?

dellartehommage2005dellartehommage2005 Northwest NJNew
edited December 2022 in History Posts: 28

I was looking over the itinerary from this past Django In June festival and I saw they had a Choro class taught by Olli Soikkelli on the books.

Where does the chiro have a place in gypsy jazz music? I find this very interesting from my classical guitar days of playing Choros written by Villa-Lobos. I find this very interesting!

If anyone was at the festival and has information on what was specifically taught in that class that would be really cool to hear too!



  • stuologystuology New
    Posts: 196

    Fapy Lafertin often puts a couple of choro tunes on his albums and I’ve heard Tcha Limberger playing Vou Vivendo. It’s nothing particularly to do with Django but it’s part of the musical landscape of many Sinti players we associate with gypsy jazz.

    Also, the organisers of Django in June also run a Choro camp.

  • Posts: 4,816

    It's not so dissimilar like a cross pollination with the bluegrass. Just people playing what they like and enjoy playing.

    A few things I remember is a few years back at Django in June, rhythm guitar player from Tcha's band (Renaud Dardenne) was demonstrating some Choro rhythm guitar patterns. And a lot of people were interested. Then, I don't know how they met but Olli has been recording with Cesar Garabini for a long time now.

    Andrew's extended family is now Brasilian and he started organizing that New England Choro camp. I imagine that'll be a big influence for further mixing of the two.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited December 2022 Posts: 1,459

    If there is any music you could geek out on even more than GJ, it's probably Choro. And the technical level of some of those 7-string guitarists is mind blowing. Check out Yamandu Costa for example.

    Bill in portugal posted a great video recently of a band that seems to be like fusion choro / gypsy jazz - here's the link

  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 642

    Bill in portugal posted a great video recently of a band that seems to be like fusion choro / gypsy jazz

    Title track from their album (on Bandcamp):

  • AndrewLawrenceAndrewLawrence Northampton, MA✭✭
    Posts: 56

    Hi dellarte:

    Andrew here...I produce Django in June and saw your note -- thought I'd weigh in, though other's comments are spot-on.

    When I first encountered choro in a gypsy jazz setting -- on Fapy Lafertin and Tim Kliphuis' "Fleur d'Ennui" CD -- I didn't know what choro was. I, like you, probably first heard the term used with reference to those Villa-Lobos compositions.

    A few years ago I got really interested in the genre and, as Wim has warned us can happen, started to geek out on it pretty hard...on cavaquinho no less! Yeah, I got it bad.

    The idea behind that workshop last year was to give people an introduction to how the genre can be adapted to the GJ setting...just as has been done with "Gypsy bossa", Gypsy Bolero", etc. Choro is an umbrella term that actually includes many different Brazilian rhythmic styles, so I thought DiJ would be a good place to start exploring both choro repertoire and rhythms, but in a GJ style. The workshop presenters were slated to present a choro, a samba and a maxixe (ma - SHE-she) -- the tune itself and suggestions on accompaniment.

    From what I've heard of the workshop, I'm not sure we quite delivered on that promise. But we're (or at least, I'm) learning and I'd like to stay at it. I think our event could contribute a lot to this particular exploration.

    And for those who want to go deeper into choro as it's played in Brazil, there's Choro Camp New England.

    All the best,


  • dellartehommage2005dellartehommage2005 Northwest NJNew
    Posts: 28

    Hello Andrew,

    Thank you so much for your response. I did not realize that Choro was a whole genre of music within Brazil — I thought it was only a song form tbh. I really love the idea of trying to bring the Choro form into gypsy jazz as has been done with Bossa and Bolero. Is this something you're doing to do again at this upcoming Django In June?

    I plan on attending your festival this year and I am really looking forward to it!

  • AndrewLawrenceAndrewLawrence Northampton, MA✭✭
    edited January 2023 Posts: 56

    Hi dellarte:

    Choro is both a specific rhythm and a genre that incorporates many different rhythmic styles: samba, maxixe, choro, baião, valsa, polca, etc. The classic form is rondo, but that has never been strictly fixed, and two part choros have become increasingly common over the years. You can find pretty good, short answers to the question "what is choro" on both and at

    And yes, I'd like to rope somebody into leading a Tuesday workshop on Choro for Gypsy Jazzers again this year, and maybe offer it as a special topic every afternoon. Stay tuned, and watch out for that slippery slope!


  • V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023 Posts: 325

    I also first heard Choro through Fapy Lafertin's "Fleur d'Ennui" record and in my opinion most if not all Django folks' interest in the genre can be traced directly to him. As far as I know no other artist in the Gypsy Jazz genre explored Choro before that.

    One thing I love about Fapy is he explores a lot of different influences. I once recently made the connection that his recording of Maria Elena is clearly influenced by Los Indios Tabajaras

    Funnily, I once played those recordings for some members of a great choro group here, and they made winced faces at it. When you're immersed in the genre, the altered rhythmic feel pops out immediately. I have the same experience when I hear bluegrass musicians dabble in django tunes.

  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited January 2023 Posts: 1,459

    Hmm, I didn't know Fapy was doing some Choro, until some time later. For me the "in" was thru Doug de Vries - he was playing a lot of Django stuff back in the 90's, and then went on to become a world class seven-string player. He doesn't really play GJ much (at all?) any more, although a google search just turned up Doug demoing on an Altamira guitars video recently.

    These genres are each so deep that a lifetime isn't enough to totally master them both, so I guess you have to pick and choose your battles. Or be content with being just "adequate" at both.

  • djazzydjazzy New Riccardo Mordeglia, AJL
    Posts: 69

    "These genres are each so deep that a lifetime isn't enough to totally master them both, so I guess you have to pick and choose your battles. Or be content with being just 'adequate' at both."

    Ain't this the truth!

Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2024, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2024 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.148031 Seconds Memory Usage: 1.131775 Megabytes