The gypsy swing jazz quartet Van Django makes its eagerly awaited return to Errington Hall for a concert Saturday, March 12.
A huge success when they performed in 2013, Van Django returns to mix, mash and jazz up Mozart, Duke Ellington, and The Beatles, along with their own originals, in a quartet of two guitars, a violin, and a double bass.
Named in tribute to guitarist Django Reinhardt, Van Django is Vancouver’s answer to Paris’s Quintette du Hot Club de France, founded by Reinhardt and his violinist partner Stephane Grappelli in the 1930s.
Grappelli spent his early years starving in an orphanage and took his first lessons from street musicians, while Van Django’s violinist Cameron Wilson is classically trained and works as much with symphonic music as with jazz. Django Reinhardt used only his first two fingers to play because his left hand was crippled as a result of the burns he sustained when his gypsy caravan caught fire. The accident that cost him the use of his third and fourth fingers gave birth to a style now emulated by countless jazz guitarists. Van Django’s Budge Schachte’s four-fingers dance along the neck of his expressive guitar.
“I’ve got them, so I might as well use them,” he says with a smile.
Finally, the quartet’s rhythm guitarist, Finn Manniche, is as accomplished as Reinhardt’s brother Joseph, while bassist Brent Gubbels is the younger counterpart of the Hot Club’s Louis Vola.
Perennial jazz festival favourites, Van Django’s music has delighted B.C. and international audiences for two decades.
Saturday’s show begins at 8 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach, and at the Errington General Store. For more information, visit www.erringtonhall.bc.ca.
— Submitted by Errington Hall