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"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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January 13, 2012 | Django in June 2012 featuring Paul Glasse!

The popular New England Gypsy Jazz festival is back again this year, Django in June is known to have featured some of our favorite JazzMando dignitaries, the likes of John McGann, Jamie Masefield, Aaron Weinstein, and Jason Anick. This year we can add perennial jazz mandolin royalty Paul Glasse to the list.


This year's dates are June 12-17. The festival's founder Andrew Lawrence weighs in, "For what it's worth, here's just a little of my thinking on the subject. The original inspiration for Django in June was a trip I took to France some years ago, to the big Django festival in Samois-sur-Seine. It was immediately obvious to me upon setting foot in the campground that the European guitarists' approach to this musical tradition was very, very different than what most American guitarists were doing when they played in what they considered to be "the style". I won't go into the details here... Suffice it to say that I thought there might be an interest among Americans for an opportunity to get good, in-person education and exposure to what I was hearing in Europe. So that's our "niche", if you will. Django Camp -- the full-immersion music camp part of our program -- is still the only event of its kind in the US devoted to the GJ tradition. (And the Europeans tell me, there's nothing like it over there, either! They dig it.)

Django.jpgOK, does mandolin fit in? Well, that's for you to decide, isn't it? The way it looks to me, this is about the most string-friendly style of jazz on the planet, and it shouldn't matter how many strings you've got to work with. The fact that it is guitar-dominated just means that (1) the music tends to be played in keys we're more familiar with and (2) you have a helluva rhythm section at the ready. The big advantage you have over the guitarists is that, since there's no indigenous gypsy-jazz-mandolin tradition, you don't have to rebuild your right-hand technique to play this music in a "legit" way. Just learn some of the repertoire and start swingin'.

Personally, I don't see why mandolin players with an interest in the jazzier end of the spectrum wouldn't love, love, love playing this music and Django in June offers a unique opportunity to get both great instruction and as much djamming as your poor blistered fingers can take. I do my bit by hiring the best teachers I can find and by extending a welcoming hand. I hope some of you will take me up on the offer and give it a try."

We'll be bringing you more information as the date draws near. For now, mark your calendar and check out some of the preliminary information on the website.

Link: Django in June 2012
Download free Paul Glasse tracks by signing up on his ReverbNation mailing list.

Paul tells us this will be the first time in over a decade that he has taught at any of the camps on the east coast.

Posted by Ted at January 13, 2012 5:18 AM

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