Pioneering Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt lamented that he might be neglected by history, but today the ebulliently swinging “jazz manouche” sound he created with French violinist Stéphane Grappelli is more pervasive than ever. “Clearly born to the style,” (NY Times) no one has done more to ignite interest in the idiom than dazzling French guitarist and violinist Dorado Schmitt.
Bornto Gypsy parents near the German border in Lorraine, Schmitt was weaned on traditional Roma music and Gypsy jazz, but rebelled as a teenager by taking up electric guitar and emulating Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. After a decade of leading his own trio, he was nearly killed in a car crash, and spent years in physical therapy to regain his unrivaled guitar prowess. By the mid-90s he was a leading figure on the international Gypsy jazz scene, where he continues to represent the art form at its highest level. Schmitt is joined by a cast of fiercely swinging compatriots including his son, Amati Schmitt, who represents the future of the Gypsy tradition, as well as the brilliant jazz accordionist Ludovic Beier and violinist Pierre Blanchard, who was tapped by Grappelli himself as a worthy successor.