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Jazz & Blues Festival Celebrates International Jazz Day with Gypsy Swing Concert

By Antonio Lozoya

The International San Miguel Jazz & Blues Festival will celebrate International Jazz Day to the rhythm of Gypsy swing at St Paul’s Church on April 7.

Gypsy jazz, also known as gypsy swing or hot club jazz, is a style of jazz generally accepted to have been started in Paris in the 1930s by Romani guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt. Because its origins are French, and because Reinhardt was from the Manouche Roma clan, gypsy jazz is often called by the French name jazz manouche, or manouche jazz in English language sources.

Reinhardt was foremost among a group of Romani guitarists working in Paris from the 1930s to the 1950s. Many gypsy jazz musicians worked in Paris in popular musette ensembles. The lead instrument was typically the accordion, accompanied by the banjo, the latter played with a guitar pick for volume.

Other elements of the ensemble sound included the use of stringed instruments only, which was unusual for its day. The absence of brass lead instruments and drums was a novelty in the jazz context, as was use of the double bass, which had taken over from the sousaphone to play bass lines. The absence of drums was compensated for by a highly rhythmic style of guitar accompaniment called la pompe, which supplied both rhythm and harmonic structure for the soloists.

Gypsy jazz can be performed on guitars alone with or without double bass. But in the Quintette du Hot Club de France, solo work alternated between Reinhardt on guitar and Stéphane Grappelli on jazz violin.

The musicians who will be performing at this event are violinist Pedro Cartas; guitarists Eli Doney, Julián Arcos, and Carlos Cáseres; and, on the double bass and giving musical direction, Antonio Lozoya.

In November 2011, UNESCO officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people from all corners of the globe. The United Nations and UNESCO now both recognize International Jazz Day on their official calendars.

For me, jazz is the best example of how to explain to the world that no matter where you come from and what language you speak, you can share music with honesty and humility, In jazz, one is instantly creating a musical conversation through improvisation, and developing new experiences. Jazz music has the power to change societies.

This nonprofit festival preserves jazz and blues culture in México. If you want to support this organization with a donation, please visit our website,, and we will gladly give you details about the benefits of your contribution.

Our last concert in March sold out. Please mark the date on your calendar, and don’t miss the opportunity to spend an unforgettable evening!



“Gypsy Jazz”—International Jazz Day

XXV International Jazz & Blues Festival

Sun, Apr 7, 4pm

St Paul’s Church

Cardo 6

350 and 250 pesos


Solutions, Recreo 11, Centro



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