Post mortem on Django in June—Raves

robertsaundersrobertsaunders Brookline, MA✭✭✭✭ 2007 Gitane DB-255
edited June 2008 in North America Posts: 244
I need to jot down observations on Django in June while still fresh in my mind. It was such a great experience for me, even better than last year's, in my opinion. I'd like to hear others' comments too.

First of all, props to Andrew Lawrence, the man with a vision who made it happen.

Things that stuck with me:

Lounging on the grass in the noonday sun next to a shady tree listening to Ensemble Zaiti jam, with attendees gathered around applauding: my definition of Heaven

Dennis Chang's class where we learned chord embellishments to improvising on Coquette.

Adrien Moignard's demonstrations of right hand strumming variations on bossa nova, funk, and swing rhythms

The ensemble labs, which more than anything else at DiJ helped in upgrading my performance and group/social skills

The jams in the off hours indoors and out, playing with new people, and hearing others including a number who had vastly improved since last year

Saturday night's concert of Ensemble Zaiti, to date arguably the best concert I've ever heard—despite the sound and feedback problems. I got hoarse from yelling for an encore, and wore out my pompe hand clapping.

The conversations around the table at meals and getting to know people I wouldn't have otherwise met

Meeting Robin Nolan, and his class on gypsy licks

Robin Nolan's concert, one of the most lyrical I've ever heard, plus the DiJ All Stars, with Matt Glazer cracking wise

Talking with Robin Saturday night at intermission outside Helen Hills Chapel, discovering what a friendly and unassuming guy he is. The man is a major artist.

Talking with Jean-Phillipe Watremez in John Keohane's van on my way home

More later...

I'm enormously grateful that this program exists. It has really opened up all kinds of new opportunities for me. I hope we will all stay in touch and foster community.

Again, Andrew, you the man.



  • robertsaundersrobertsaunders Brookline, MA✭✭✭✭ 2007 Gitane DB-255
    Posts: 244
    To continue...

    Cedric Ricard, tenor monster of the velvety tone and the savage wail!

    Gonzalo's eloquent playing and his good-natured guitar jousts with Adrien at Saturday's concert

    Vladimir Mollov's breathtaking Bulgarian duet with Jean-Phillipe, a high point of the week

    Dinner at the Sierra Grille listening to Jack Brown's band Swing Caravan

    Encountering my old college bandmate and bass player Alan Bradbury (of Mother's Oats, our fabled RISD rock band of yore) for the first time in 37 years. Effin' ay!

    Having breakfast at Miss Flo's diner in Florence on Sunday—oh no, wait, that wasn't on the DiJ program—my bad.

  • skiski Boston, USANew
    Posts: 86
    Another rave here! This was my first time attending DiJ...or any Gypsy jazz event. It was truly a humbling experience to see so many fantastic players; and I'm not just talking about the pros that showed up to teach at the workshops or perform on Friday and Saturday nights. I was incredibly impressed by the level of musicianship among all the attendees at the casual jams that took place in between workshops and well into the night.

    Everyone was very supportive of the newbies like myself and I'm really encouraged to work with the overwhelming amount of useful information that was thrown at me. I found the workshops with Gonzalo, Michael, and John particularly helpful and everyone was so good-natured and ready to help others improve.

    The concerts were breathtakingly good. I live in MA so I was able to go home Saturday afternoon, arrange for a babysitter on short notice, and bring my wife back to Northampton for the Saturday night Ensemble Zaiti show. I'll echo others' comments and say that was possibly the best show I've ever seen. And my wife thought so, too, and she isn't even particularly into Gypsy jazz! Robin's show was also fantastic and it was a true pleasure to see and hear his take on Gypsy jazz on that beautiful Bob Holo guitar! (Way to go, Bob!)

    It was great to meet so many new people, especially those of you who are part of the budding Boston area scene. I look forward to seeing you at some of the jams between now and next June!

    Lastly, a huge thanks to Andrew for making such a unique event possible. As I heard time and time again during the week...Bravo!

  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 485
    Wow, what a great Django camp, once again! This was my second year, and it was great seeing (and playing with) everybody again. Super big thanks to Andrew for another great year.

    And, man, L'Ensemble Zaiti were AMAZING!

  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 494
    Hi all,
    so- I'll jump in with a review . . and some thoughts.
    I had a great time for a DIJ newbie- it was a great experience and huge props to andrew to putting this amazing event on! I was floored by his level of great organization and adaptiblity. just amazing!
    Favorite moments included hearing Zaiti's show, Running the slow jam, hearing and playing again with so many great players who really had there "shit" together. Meeting new people who can play and are into gypsy jazz . . . and had their "shit" together as well. M. watramez's picking class were he taught us some of the amazing balkan stuff. Cedric pointing at his tensed bicep during the zaiti jam class- to say "solo; it will make you stronger!"
    A few thank yous- Mr. Michael Bouer for the ride and generous helpings malts! Jack and Lex and Dennis for making me play just so very very much and for the high level playing. Tess for clan bass rocking! Michael H for the company and teaching so well; next time we need to play a little more! Bobholo for the great guitars, company and playing- don't forget my guitar needs an extra string!. Jason Anick for the jams, and teaching such a great class. Peter Anick for running my camera! Everyone for the incredible level of musicianship and support! People I forgot for forgiving me.
    Jazzed. . . .and loving it. I'll be back next year, and I hope that you all come to the mini fest at jalopy on november 7th and 8th.
  • WitchTiplerWitchTipler Montreal,QCNew
    Posts: 13
    I hope when Ensemble Zaiti rule the world that they are as kind and wonderfully inspiring to all players. :D

    Well my first year... i'll be back.

    Loved everything about the whole experience, everybody so friendly and inviting. People really help each other and encourage the ones who are at a lower level to socially engage musically.

    Thanks so much to all tutors and performers, who really worked so well with all the students and musicians, big round of applause, and of course a huge thanks to Andrew (The Don) Lawrence.

    If any body has any vid-links could they post them here or maybe start a new thread. The only two i can find at the moment are

    All the best
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