Django à la Créole was a hard-working quartet that I created in 2007. It performed throughout Europe until disbanding in 2015. Our identity was built around the ephemeral 1939 meeting between guitarist Django Reinhardt and three of Duke Ellington's sidemen including the Creole clarinetist, Barney Bigard.
Our repertoire was a mix of Creolized Django compositions and "Django-ized" New Orleans music. When David Blenkhorn left the band in late 2013, the solo guitar chair was filled by virtuosi including Jacob Fischer (Denmark) and the great Don Vappie (New Orleans).
In 2013, during an annual Europe tour, Django à la Créole was asked to film a song celebrating Duke Ellington. The Duc des Lombards in Paris hosted the session, for which we chose Ellington's 1929 New Orleans-tinged classic, "The Mooche."
Paris, France: 2013
I Know That You Know
Our annual visits to the intimate Duc des Lombards were consistently a highlight of our tours. Using Django's legacy to frame a tribute to New Orleans always felt so deliciously purposeful.
Paris, France: 2010
We almost always opened our concert programs with this Django Reinhardt classic. Putting a sultry habañera rhythm on it was our way of saying, "Sit back, relax, this isn't going to be your ordinary Django-tribute."
Montargis, France: 2010
I’ll See You In My Dreams
Shortly after the group's inception, I brought them to New Orleans. We had a U.S. release of the first CD at Snug Harbor, but we warmed up with an in-store at the renowned Louisiana Music Factory record store.