Festival Schedule

Friday April 11

Roma Swing Ensemble /  8pm
Van Django  DETAILS

Saturday April 12

Michael Gray
violin/fiddle masterclass 
Budge Schachte
gypsy bop melody 
Lache Cercel & Don Ogilvie
roma jazz 
Pearl Django /  8pm
Marc Atkinson Trio  DETAILS

Sunday April 13

Michael Dunn
gypsy jazz rhythm guitar 
Don Kellett
gypsy jazz lead guitar 
Swing dance basics (FREE)  6pm
Hot Club of Mars /  8pm
All-Star Swing Dance  DETAILS

Download Program (PDF)

» Great article about Django appearing in the New Yorker :
Gypsy, The life of Django Reinhardt

Listen to 2007 Concerts Recorded by CBC Radio 2

April in Paris - 2nd Annual Django Festival
Concerts, Workshops & Dance

Friday - Sunday April 11th - 13thSt. James Hall3214 West 10th Avenue
at Trutch St. in Kitsilano

This concert has already taken place. Give us your impressions of the show in our guestbook.

Django Reinhart

Last year we instigated April In Paris a celebration of the musical legacy of Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli, who defined a uniquely Parisian musical genre with their Hot Club de France in the 1930s. There are some wonderful bands keeping this spirit alive all over the world, and BC is one of the most active and fruitful "hot" spots! Four bands helped us to launch this annual event last year, and we are delighted that each of them has accepted our invitation to participate again. They are the Marc Atkinson Trio from Victoria and Hornby Island, Lache Cercel & Roma Swing Ensemble, Van Django, and The Hot Club of Mars all from the Lower Mainland.

This year we have grown from two to three evening concerts, and added Pearl Django a very fine band from Seattle. There will also be several workshops teaching swing rhythm guitar, guitar improvisation, gypsy fiddle, and other techniques. The event concludes with a Swing Dance on Sunday evening, April 13th.

To add to the atmosphere of the occasion, we will have a "Parisian-Style Bistro" serving baguette sandwiches, truffles, and French wine as well as local beer and coffee. Local guitar builder Shelley Park will be showcasing her wares, and we should have a Parisian slideshow as well.

Tickets for each individual concert are on sale online and at Highlife Records and Rufus' Guitar Shop. The Friday & Saturday shows are $23 each ($3 off for members) and the Sunday show is $20 ($17 members). Weekend Passes cost a mere $45 ($40 membes) and are available by calling our Hotline on 604-736-3022.

For those who wish to attend the Swing Dance only, the cost is $10 at the door. Workshops run for one hour, and the cost is $30 per session, payable to the workshop host.

As the blossoms finally break out from their buds on the trees, and we start to thaw out from a long, cool winter, come and warm yourselves with some of the hottest Gypsy Swing music on the planet, as Vancouver celebrates its second annual Django Fest. If you love gypsy fiddles, stunning guitar playing, sensuous songs, and a certain je ne sais quoi with your music, then come on down and have beaucoup de fun at the Rogue Folk Club's Django Fest 2008!


$23 ($20 members)

Friday April 11, 8pm
Roma Swing Ensemble / Van Django

April in Paris 2008

The opening concert on Friday April 11th features Van Django with their unique blend of Classical music, gypsy swing, and myriad influences. Cam Wilson, the violinist, is an incredibly creative genius of a musician. He also plays with Joe Trio, and is a former member of the late, lamented Celtic band Mad Pudding. Budge Schachte and Finn Manniche play guitars - Finn now adds cello, too - and Laurence Mollerup plays bass. In addition, Romanian violinist Lache Cercel and his Roma Swing Ensemble will bring their gypsy fiddle music, spiced up with Hot-Club tunes and Balkan music. Lache's band includes guitarist Don Ogilvie and the remarkable singer Rebecca Shoichet. Lache and Cam will also treat us to their tribute to the famous violin summit meeting of Grappelli and renowned classical musician Yehudi Menuhin. The evening will conclude with a jam session.  more...

$23 ($20 members)

Saturday April 12, 8pm
Pearl Django / Marc Atkinson Trio

April in Paris 2008

On Saturday April 12th, Hornby Island's Marc Atkinson will demonstrate his amazing guitar artistry accompanied by Victoria musicians Joey Smith on bass and Reuben Wier on rhythm guitar. Marc, who is also a member of The Bills, has just released his 4th album of swing guitar tunes. Special guests, Pearl Django, from Seattle, have recorded 8 CDs to date, and have earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest gypsy swing bands in the Pacific Northwest. Led by fiddler Michael Gray, the band now comprises accordionist David Lange, guitarists Neil Andersson and Ryan Hoffman, and bassist Rick Leppanen.  more...

$20 ($17 members)

Sunday April 12, 8pm
Hot Club of Mars / All-Star Swing Dance

April in Paris 2008

Sunday April 13th will showcase the multiple delights of The Hot Club of Mars, featuring renowned luthier and guitarist Michael Dunn, with the lovely chanteuse Deanna Knight and a powerful septet, with fiddler Tom Neville, guitarists Don Kellet and Steve Szabo, bassist Charlie Knowles, and sax player Mark Dowding. They will form the core of the All-Star Band that will host the festival's closing Swing Dance at the end of the evening.  more...


$30 at door

Saturday April 12, 4pm
Michael Gray - Violin/Fiddle Masterclass Workshop

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.

$30 at door

Saturday April 12, 5pm
Roma Jazz - with Lache Cercel (violin) & Don Ogilvie (guitar)

The term "Gypsy Jazz" immediately brings Django Reinhardt to mind. But the potential of this blend of Roma ("Gypsy") music with Jazz (and related forms) is much greater. Violinist Lache Cercel (an expert in all Roma styles) and guitarist Don Ogilvie (long-experienced in jazz, classical, and others), will take you on a journey of traditional Roma music, drawn from its history of over 1000 years, demonstrating elements such as melodic characteristics, ornamentation, Roma scales, accompaniment styles, typical chord progressions and instrumental techniques. Don and Lache will then show how they have, in a natural way, blended this vast music source with the equally vital art form of jazz, resulting in the unique style of The Roma Swing Ensemble and pointing towards a new genre of music. Everything will be demonstrated by ear (the traditional Roma way!) and participants will be encouraged to try out these ideas in a concluding jam session.

$30 at door

Saturday April 12, 6pm
"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. A list of recommended teaching materials will also be handed out.

$30 at door

Sunday April 13, 4pm
Michael Dunn (Gypsy Jazz Rhythm Guitar)

More details TBA

$30 at door

Sunday April 13, 5pm
Don Kellett (Gypsy Jazz Lead Guitar)

More details TBA


Sunday April 13, 6pm
Swing Dance Basics (instructors to be confirmed)

More details TBA