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Martha Larson Introduces Northfield to Gypsy Jazz-Django Style

January 2, 2013

When she's not managing the College's campus energy and sustainability initiatives, Martha Larson is also an accomplished jazz cellist and vocalist. This month, Larson is bringing her musical talents to the Northfield community with an eclectic new music series: "Gypsy Jammin' - Django Style."

Larson, along with a rotation of featured guest artists, will host a series of four Gypsy jazz jam sessions at the Upstairs Rueb, 503 Division Street in downtown Northfield. Both new and experienced musicians are welcome; sessions run from 7-9 p.m. and there is no cover charge.

The series is sure to appeal to serious jazz aficionados, musicians, non-musicians and those that simply great love music. Gypsy jazz originated in the 1930s from the unique guitar style of Jean “Django” Reinhardt and his Quintette du Hot Club de France. It features swinging lead lines supported by the driving guitar-based rhythm technique known as “la pompe” or “the pump.” The genre combines hot jazz and cool swing with an unmistakable Romany vibe.

Each session will feature a leading Gypsy jazz guitarist, showcasing some of Minnesota’s best musicians:

  • Mark Kreitzer, The Mark Kreitzer Band (and Carleton College Instructor in American Folk Instruments) —Jan. 8
  • Sam Miltich, Clearwater Hot Club—Jan. 22
  • Robert Bell, Twin Cities Hot Club—Feb. 5
  • Dean Harrington, Mill City Hot Club—Feb. 19

These local jazz greats will guide participants through a fun, informal evening of play-along tunes. Bring your instrument or just come to listen. No jazz experience required; all instruments welcome.