Saturday, August 23, 2008

Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival

From Gypsy Fest 2008

It started Friday at 7 PM in the barn.
Gonzalo Bergara (LA) with Kevin Nolan (Seattle) and John on the bass. John is the local boy from Madison, (we play in the same poker game). This three just met and played for the first time together.

Second act was Chicago Gypsy Rhythm Project with their mixture of Romanian folk and jazz. Closing act was always impressive Hot Club Of Detroit. Night continued around the camp fire with the jam session till 2 AM.

Saturday the show started at 2PM. When I arrived the outdoor activities were going on. First performances in the barn was Harmonious Wail with the guest from Chicago, guitarist Alphonso Ponticelli. Here they are with Russian Gypsy song "Dark Eyes".

Next act, Twin Cities Hot Club had a solid performance with a few classic Django's tunes.

Here I am chating with Gonzalo and Kevin.

Gonzalo was born in Argentina, so I thought he started with classical Spanish guitar, but he told me he started to play guitar when he was 13 years old and his favorites were Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers and other blues masters. Kevin has interesting "road history". He's an Irish lad, born in Hong Kong, than moved to Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, and now he lives and plays in Seattle and LA. In London and Amsterdam he played with his brother Robin Nolan, and now he's a member of John Jorgenson Quintet.
In the tent Gonzalo joined the Hot Club Of Detroit for the dance party.

If not on the stage musicians were joining small groups for the jam. At this one I found together memebrs of Hot Club of Detroit, and our local Madison groups Harmonious Wail, Caravan GSE, and other friends.

Gonzalo, John and Kevin had a chance to play for the second time together.

Alfonso Ponticelli and Tony Ballog are members of the Chicago band 'Swing Gitan'. They played as a duo this year, but got some help for the closing couple tunes. Alfonso is Italian origin, and Tony is Hungarian Gypsy fifth generation here in US. He plays in the best tradition of Gypsies from the old country.

Night ended with the Hot Club Of Detroit. They were even better than the last night. Accordion player was dominating the show. They had a nice version of Jobim's "Insensatez"(one of my favorite songs).

Traditionally the show continued around the campfire. I saw many happy faces, new friendships, and satisfied jazz lovers. I can't wait for the next chance to see all this guys again.
Hope you'll be there too.