Steve's Blog
Wednesday April 22, 2009

Keep in Touch

There are two ways you can receive these updates automatically:

Hi everyone

This is the biggest weekend of the year for us, and it comes at a time when our cash flow isn't at its best. We have our 3rd annual Festival of Gypsy Jazz - April In Paris - plus a solo show by award-winning east coast singer Matt Andersen: three concerts, and a few workshops (full details below). We promise you that they will all be absolutely top-notch. Choose one or more of these concerts and you'll definitely hear amazing music at a great price. There's some other news as well.

Funding Delay

We still don't know if we have a grant this year from Canadian Heritage. This has been our lifeline for the past few years. Without it we could hire no staff. With it we have been able to keep on bringing you this fine music. Since 2002 we've been able to make ends meet on our shows - and I think we've presented some incredible concerts. I have just written to our MP, Hedy Fry, to see if she can see what's going on. Meeting other presenters at Pacific Contact last month I became quite discouraged. It seems that the current minister responsible for Canadian Heritage - The Hon. James Moore, Conservative MP for Port Moody / Westwood / Port Coquitlam - doesn't have much interest in the arts at all. If anyone would like to write to their MP or to the Minister himself, and ask about the status of our grant, go ahead. We live in a parliamentary democracy and you don't even need a stamp to write to these people. You could also email the Minister on MooreJ (at) Be gentle with him, just ask about the status of Arts Presentation Canada grants for 2009 and say how much you'd miss the arts if groups like Rogue Folk were forced to close down for lack of government funding - delivered in a timely fashion.

Matt Andersen, Friday April 24th 8pm, at St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

New Brunswick songwriter / blues guitarist Matt Andersen won both the Blues Recording of the Year and Male Solo Recording of the Year categories of the 2009 East Coast Music Awards for his latest CD, Something In Between. This will be his first Rogue gig, and we think you'll love his music. I first saw him in Mission a couple of years ago. He was the "tweener" on Main Stage and I was the MC. He is a stunning guitarist with a deep, rich voice and some very soulful original songs. He also plays great versions of standards and blues classics. Bonnie Raitt calls Chris Smither "my Eric Clapton." If you like any of those three artists you'll love Matt Andersen.

Check out this You Tube video from Matt: Matt Andersen-"I play the fool for you"

April In Paris - Saturday & Sunday April 25th & 26th

Putting Vancouver on the Django map.... April In Paris is The Rogue Folk Club's celebration of the musical legacy of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, who defined Parisian music and style in the 1930s and 40s with their gypsy jazz music. Unbeknownst to many, there are a slew of Django festivals around the world: San Francisco, Colorado, New York, Texas, Belgium, Germany, Norway...the list goes on. Well, now Vancouver's been added to that list and our little festival is making quite a stir. This year's edition of April in Paris features 5 bands over two nights, music and dance workshops, a swing dance AND a French bistro. Does this mean hundreds, possibly thousands of Djangomaniacs invading our city every April with their well-tailored suits and slicked-back hair? Probably! Why don't you come see for yourself?

Saturday Workshops

5pm Michael Gray - Violin/Fiddle Masterclass Workshop $30

For all violinists and fiddlers who want a little insight on improvising, this workshop will focus on how to get around on a gypsy jazz tune or jazz standard. The fiddle styles of Stephane Grappelli, Titi Winterstein, Regina Carter and others will be used to convey playing ideas and violin tips such as tone production, how to solo over an easy blues and/or a gypsy jazz standard like "Minor Swing", improvising a melodic line, and what to do when you get lost (and how not to get lost!) The general approach will be to help players to use their own particular strengths in learning how to creatively solo and improvise, and ultimately, lay the groundwork for nurturing your own style of playing. All levels are welcome; the ability to read chord charts would be helpful. And, most importantly, performers of all styles of fiddling and violin playing are welcome. It's amazing how much traditional styles, both folk and classical, influence the ability to perform a solo of any style on the instrument. The instructor for the workshop will be Michael Gray, violinist of the band, Pearl Django. Michael has been an adjunct professor of Music at Cornish College of the Arts, and has taught at the University of Washington (Music 464a). Michael has performed, recorded and taught extensively throughout the Puget Sound region. Pre-register by email or by phone 604-736-3022. Cost $30.

6pm Swing Dance Basics (to be confirmed) led by Toby and his wife - who did such a fine job last year. Free!!

Come early for the show and you'll be ready to dance to Van Django and Pearl Django, and then you'll want to come back for more on Sunday. This workshop is free!

Van Django & Pearl Django, Saturday April 25th 8pm, at St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Vancouver's amazing innovators Van Django (Cam Wilson on violin, Budge Schachte and Finn Manniche on guitars, and Laurence Mollerup on bass). This acoustic string ensemble's music is well-rooted in the gypsy jazz of 1930's Paris, but beyond that it's all pure blue-skying; flights of dazzling fancy, driving rhythms and boundless creativity.

The other half of the bill features Seattle's Pearl Django (Neil Andersson and Ryan Hoffman on guitars, David Lange on accordion, Michael Gray on violin, and Rick Leppanen on bass). They play gypsy jazz "with such verve, skill and pleasure that they're pretty much irresistible to jazz and non-jazz listeners alike."

Sunday Workshops

3:30pm Rhythm Guitar Workshop $30

Gypsy Jazz Rhythm Workshop led by Michael Dunn, renowned luthier and the rhythm king of Hot Club Of Mars. What really identifies the genre of Gypsy Jazz is the way the rhythm is kept with guitars instead of a drum kit. There are several basic ways to play the rhythm and each has its place depending on the song or tempo. In the workshop, there will be a song(s) which we will use to study the basic rhythm techniques mostly concentrating on the right hand movements. The turnarounds, stops, pulses and pushes will be explored. All this with an aim to realizing that rhythm guitar is not second fiddle, but the most important part of the Gypsy Swing ensemble.

Pre-register by email or by phone 604-736-3022. Cost $30.

5pm Budge Schachte Guitar Workshop $30

"Gypsy Bop" Melody Workshop led by Budge Schachte

The melodic vocabulary of the ornamental Gypsy style and Bebop (Bop) jazz are the perfect compliment to each other. Django himself embraced the "Bop" vocabulary towards the end of his career. In this workshop we will explore a variety of simple scale and arpeggio combinations (ie. "licks") and how to use them over typical gypsy jazz tunes. We'll learn to modify these "licks" through the use of ornaments, including chromaticism and other exotic tricks. Some of these include; "Target Tones", "Guide Tones", "Octave Displacement", "Rhythmic Phrasing", "Motives", "Symmetry", and more... You will leave this workshop with essential skills and an enhanced appreciation of this infectious style. * There will be handouts in Standard Notation, TAB and Chord Diagrams. Pre-register by email or by phone 604-736-3022. Cost $30.

Marc Atkinson Trio, Hot Club Sandwich, The Hot Club Of Mars, Sunday April 26th 6:30pm, at St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.

Stunning guitarist / composer Marc Atkinson returns with his fine trio, chanteuse Deanna Knight leads the spell-binding rhythmic hot jazz of Vancouver's favourite Martians, and we feature the festival debut of another hot combo from Seattle - Hot Club Sandwich - as we present a powerful and moving finale concert, dance and jam. There'll be a Parisian-style "bistro", too.

Radio Rogue

After several years of faithful service, our office eMac has been admitted to The Mac Market Infirmary. We hope we won't be singing the blues for long, and that "Uncle" Rick can fix her up good as new. Meanwhile we have suspended Radio Rogue our streaming internet music broadcast for the time being.

If you need some newish music on your computer, visit and download podcasts of The Edge On Folk. You can go back to any show as far back as February 2007!