New York's Birdland Celebrates Django Reinhardt

New York's Birdland has been a haven for jazz fans since it opened way back when, but early November's lineup will be especially exciting. The annual Django Reinhardt Festival will offer six days of prime jazz with performances by gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt from November 1-6.

The Festival will also include a roster of other artists: Ludovic Beier, from Paris, has been a regular at the Festival on accordion and "accordion," a very interesting instrument sometimes called a mouth accordion. Pierre Blanchard also returns, from France, on Violin. When he is not joining the gypsies, Pierre performs with symphonies and other top artists. On bass is Dorado's own bassist from France, Xavier Nikq, and on rhythm guitar Francko Mehrstein, who hails from the gypsy community near Strasbourg. This is Franco's first time in the big apple.

A nice touch: Since Schmitt is from the Strasbourg region of France (and Reinhardt himself spent many years there, dying in Fontainebleau in 1953), Air France is helping to sponsor the event.

Birdland is located at 315 W. 44 Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues). Performances are at 8:30 and 11:00 pm, and the club serves meals and has a fully stocked bar. (Try the champagne cocktail. Delicious.) There is a $40 cover for center seating or a $30 cover for side seating, as well as a $10 minimum purchase.

For more information or reservations, visit http://birdlandjazz.com.

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