Get ready for some toe-tapping gypsy jazz when the Hot Club of Tucson returns to the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday (May 16) at 11:30 a.m. The trio of Nick Coventry (violin), Matt Mitchell (guitar), and Evan Dain (acoustic bass), always delivers musical pleasures.
Gypsy jazz goes back to the 1930s and ‘40s, when Louis Armstrong’s powerful impact on Parisian musicians inspired Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli to form the “Quintette du Hot Club de France,” with their own virtuosic style of swinging jazz.
Hot Club of Tucson got its start in 2004 at the Tucson Folk Festival. With some personnel changes since then, the current trio has been going strong in downtown Tucson performing weekly at the Hotel Congress on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They performed at the 2017 Tucson Folk Festival on May 7th.
Last year, Hot Club of Tucson founded the inaugural Django Southwest Festival in conjunction with the annual Tucson Jazz Festival, and introduced Hot Club Junior, a trio of award-winning young students of Nick Coventry. Hot Club Junior recently appeared at the Marana Bluegrass Festival in April. The second annual Django Southwest Festival is scheduled for September 2017.
Nick Coventry tours nationally with The Black Market Trust, an outstanding gypsy jazz band that adds vocal harmonies to instrumental virtuosity. Evan Dain performs at many Gaslight Music Hall events, while Matt Mitchell plays with Tucson’s klezmer band, the Klezmopolitans.
Together, Coventry, Mitchell, and Dain are also part of a larger band, The Tucsonics, playing western swing with the addition of pedal steel guitar and drums, supplemented by assorted guitarists well-known to Tucson audiences.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer