Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing

The Dakota's four-day festival celebrating the 100th birthday of iconic Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt winds up in grand style with Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing, which focuses on the material and fiery spirit of Django's Quintet of the Hot Club of France. O'Connor's Djangofest presence is particularly appropriate since he's not only a virtuoso violinist but also a protégé of Django's Hot Club partner, Stephane Grappelli, who employed O'Connor as a teenage guitarist. O'Connor is as brilliant a composer as he is a musician, having taken an unlikely path from Nashville session player to being one of the leading renaissance artists of American music, tying together strands of Appalachian and other American roots styles with jazz and classical. Last year's Americana Suite (OMAC), recorded with the Baltimore Symphony, is a sumptuous piece based on variations from his "Appalachia Waltz," and inspired by the American landscape and experience. A grand opus with echoes of Copland and Dvorak, the suite naturally settles among the canon of roots-inspired classical works celebrating the American spirit. And since that originates in the proverbial melting pot, it inevitably would include the influence of Django Reinhardt. O'Connor's Hot Clubbers will include guitarists Frank Vignola (another longtime Django fanatic) and Matthew Munisteri, bassist Gary Mazzaroppi, and vocalist Heather Masse of the Wailin' Jennys. (Photograph by Jim McGuire)
Wed., Jan. 20, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2010

 
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