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It’s going to be a big weekend at the JAS Cafe with three nights of exciting and diverse performances:
Thursday, Aug. 10: Cyrille Aimee (Gypsy Jazz)
Friday, Aug. 11: Cubanismo (Latin Jazz)
Saturday, Aug. 12: Take 6 (Vocalese)
So much music, so many styles, learn more about each here at the JAS Cafe Corner!
Gypsy Jazz
Also known as gypsy swing or hot-club jazz, Gypsy jazz is a style of music often said to have been started by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in the 1930s. Django was foremost among a group of Romani guitarists working in and around Paris in the 1930-1950s, a group which also included the brothers Baro, Sarane, and Matelo Ferret and Reinhardt’s brother Joseph “Nin-Nin” Reinhardt.
Many of the musicians in this style worked in Paris in various popular Musette ensembles. The Musette-style waltz remains an important component of the gypsy jazz repertoire. Reinhardt was noted for combining a dark, chromatic gypsy flavor with the swing articulation of the period. This combination is critical to this style of jazz.
Latin Jazz
In the words of New Orleans jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton, jazz was born with a “Spanish tinge.” In the 19th century, musical traditions from the Caribbean and the US migrated and mixed resulting in the emergence of complex new sounds. Percussionists assumed a dramatic new importance, new instruments found their way into the jazz lexicon, and the African heritage of both Caribbean and American music became more pronounced. In the late 1940s and early 1950s musicians began to fuse jazz with Afro-Cuban music. The result was “a hybrid of hybrids.” In New York, the Palladium and Birdland showcased Puerto Rican, Cuban, Panamanian, and Dominican musicians. New Orleans and Los Angeles jazz audiences welcomed these new Caribbean influences. Meanwhile, the sounds of American jazz spread through the Caribbean.
Latin jazz entices its listeners to move. The son, mambo, rumba, and cumbia are all inspired by the rhythms of Latin jazz and are more popular today than ever.
Often confused with scat, vocalese involves taking an instrumental solo off a well-known jazz recording, then writing the lyrics that mimic the sound of that solo. While the lyrics can at times be charmingly absurd, their main purpose is to provide the signer with the opportunity to duplicate that solo through his or her voice.
Take 6’s groundbreaking a capella performances have inspired numerous vocal artists in the last ten years, including Naturally 7, who performed at JAS in 2013 and 2015, and have taken the art of making the voice sound like various instruments to new heights.