‘He’s everywhere,’ Stephane Wrembel says of Django Reinhardt’s influence

Stephane Wrembel interview

IRENE YPENBURG

STEPHANE WREMBEL

The annual Django a Gogo Music Festival and Camp, devoted to the music of “Gypsy jazz” guitarist Django Reinhardt and led by Stephane Wrembel, begins today and continues through April 28, in Maplewood and New York. Wrembel recently visited the “Morning Dew” program on WFDU (89.1 FM), to play some Reinhardt music, live, and be interviewed by Bob O’Donnell. You can listen to the entire interview, below.

Naturally, much of the conversation was about Reinhardt (1910-1953) and his wide influence. At one point, Wrembel said that in Frank Zappa’s autobiography, “The Real Frank Zappa Book,” Zappa writes about meeting Paul Simon.

“He said Paul Simon … is laying in his living room, his head between two speakers, blasting some Django Reinhardt,” Wrembel said. “And you’re like, ‘Okay, here (Reinhardt) is again.’ And you start to find that he’s everywhere. Jerry Garcia, of course; he was very inspired by Django. And everyone, really. It’s crazy.”

The festival includes a music camp at The Woodland and The Burgdorff Center (both in Maplewood), April 23-26; concerts at The Woodland, April 24-26; a concert featuring Wrembel, Reinhardt’s great-grandson Simba Baumgartner, Raphael Fays, David Gastine, Jonny Mizzone (of Sleepy Man) and others at Town Hall in New York, April 27; and a farewell jam session and breakfast in Maplewood and a farewell party, jam session and concert at Barbès in Brooklyn, April 28. All concerts are open to the general public.

For a chance to win two tickets to the Town Hall concert, send an email to njartscontest@gmail.com by midnight April 24 with the word “Django” in the subject line.

For information about the festival and camp, visit djangoagogo.com.

You can listen to the complete “Morning Dew” interview here:

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