Video: The Django Festival All-Stars Perform 'Them There Eyes' A group of European gypsy jazz masters closed out the Newport Jazz Festival with a dazzling set full of flying fingers. After everyone left, we asked the players to perform one more just for us.

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Field Recordings

The Fastest Fingers At The Festival, For Django Reinhardt

Every year for the last decade and a half, select groups of hot swing musicians have come from Europe to tour the U.S. The exact lineups change, but they all feature masters of the "gypsy jazz" — or jazz manouche — style pioneered by guitarist Django Reinhardt. In fact, they're billed under the banner of New York's Django Reinhardt Festival.

The Django Festival All-Stars perform acoustically, but they played an electrifying set near the end of the Newport Jazz Festival. Afterward, we asked them to stick around and perform one more tune, and though their flying-finger exercises left them properly winded, they had plenty left in the tank for this energetic performance. They chose the standard "Them There Eyes," and to paraphrase its lyrics: They sparkled, they bubbled, and they got up to a whole lot of trouble.

Set List

  • "Them There Eyes" (Pinkard/Tauber/Tracey)

Personnel

Samson Schmitt, lead guitar; Ludovic Beier, accordion; Pierre Blanchard, violin; DouDou Cuillerier, rhythm guitar; Brian Torff, bass

Credits

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Patrick Jarenwattananon; Event Producer: Saidah Blount; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Adam Kissick, Nick Michael, Saidah Blount; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Editor: Colin Marshall; Special Thanks: Newport Jazz Festival, Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund, The Wyncote Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann

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