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French jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel brings Django to India

There’s a good chance you will recognise Stephane Wrembel’s music, if not his name. The sounds of his guitar were heard throughout Woody Allen’s Academy Award winning movie Midnight In Paris. The Paris-born musician says he gleaned his style of playing by learning from musicians at a Gypsy camp in the French countryside that he would visit regularly in his younger years.

One can’t listen to Wrembel’s music without thinking of the most famous Gypsy musician — the Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. “I spent years with the Sintis (French Gypsies), studying their traditional music that is inspired by Django Reinhardt. As far as my influences by him, I think it is more in the guitar playing than the swing aspect for my compositions. But playing Django is always so special. Very few other styles of music are this oriented towards the guitar. His music is made for the guitar, it extracts all the essence of the instrument naturally,” says Wrembel, who is performing in the city for the second time.
Wrembel will be in the city to pay tribute to Reinhardt in a three-day music fest. “Ten years ago I started a Django Festival in NYC called ‘Django a Gogo’, and we are bringing it to India (with the Bengaluru show) for the first time,” he says.
Wrembel’s affair with music began with the classical European piano at the age of four. He picked up the guitar at 15, and developed an immediate passion for it. “Although I first wanted to play Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and all the 60s, 70s and 80s stuff I was listening to growing up, I soon grew out of it. Since I was raised near Fontainebleau, Django’s hometown, I was naturally drawn to his music,” he reveals. Digging deeper into his roots, Wrembel’s music touches upon everything from blues to Flamenco to rock; all of these influences come together to form the music of Stephane Wrembel.

Tickets (Rs.500 onwards) available at the venue. November 22-24. At Windmills Craftworks. 9.30 pm. Details: 8880233322
— Nandini Kumar

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