From Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21, the Hot Club of Detroit (pictured above) will present their seventh annual Detroit Django Reinhardt Festival. Featuring special guests, guitarist Howard Alden and clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen, the festival will celebrate Reinhardt’s centennial to Detroit and Cleveland — two cities that Reinhardt himself performed in during his one and only American tour.
The Hot Club of Detroit has risen to prominence in recent years by honoring the spirit of Reinhardt’s music and combining it with modern jazz. “Django Reinhardt is the showerhead from which we all come down,” says guitarist and Hot Club of Detroit bandleader Evan Perri.
And while the Hot Club salutes the 100th Anniversary of Reinhardt’s birth, they pay homage to their inspiration by branching out in new directions, as they display on their forthcoming Mack Avenue release, It’s About That Time, due out in April.
“To me,” says Hot Club of Detroit rhythm guitarist Paul Brady, “Django Reinhardt was a jazz improviser like Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young or any of the other great improvisers of his time. We don’t approach our music as a Gypsy jazz band, but 100 per cent as a jazz group.” That observation is bolstered by the band’s choice of special guests, two of jazz’s finest: Howard Alden and Anat Cohen.
George Kanzler of the Newark Star Ledger writes of guitarist Howard Alden, “He may be the best of his generation.” Alden is largely responsible for the Reinhardt resurgence from his playing for Woody Allen’s 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown, about a fictional guitarist who worshiped Reinhardt. He has worked with such artists as Benny Carter, Mel Powell, Bud Freeman, Kenny Davern, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and George Van Eps, as well as notable contemporaries such as Scott Hamilton and Ken Peplowski. Alden returns for his second engagement with the Hot Club of Detroit since 2008.
Hot Club of Detroit also welcomes Israeli-born and New York-based Anat Cohen, who is one of the most talented clarinetists and saxophonists on the jazz scene. A regular headliner all over the world, Cohen’s accomplishments have been recognized in a flurry of awards and distinctions from critics and fans alike. Additionally, Cohen is the first female reed player and the first Israeli to headline at New York’s famed Village Vanguard.
2010 Detroit Django Reinhardt Festival
Friday March 19, 8:00 p.m. at Night Town — $25
12383 Cedar Road,
Cleveland Heights OH, 44106
Saturday, March 20th, 9:30 p.m. at Cliff Bell’s — $15.
2030 Park Avenue,
Detroit MI 48226
Sunday, March 21st, 4:00 p.m.
A special duo concert of Alden and Cohen will take place at Andy Rothman’s Detroit Groove Society Home Concert Series, 6650 Torybrooke Circle, West Bloomfield Michigan. Tickets cost $40 for adults and $15 for students.