Stephane Wrembel performs at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore on Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)
If Django Reinhardt could somehow return to this planet, he very well might blush to see so many music festivals taking place in his name. There’s little doubt, however, that he’d be pleased by the simple fact that gypsy jazz — a style that he’s credited with creating — lives on in the form of musicians who celebrate the craft and teach it in a communal fashion.
And if the late Mr. Reinhardt was to identify a leader among those carrying his torch, it would likely be Stephane Wrembel, a French guitarist of otherworldly talent who recently performed in Baltimore as part of the Creative Alliance’s fifth annual Charm City Django Jazz Fest.
Samson Schmitt Quartet perform at 3rd Annual Charm City Django Jazz Fest at the Creative Alliance at The Patterson Theater in Baltimore, Maryland, on Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
For aficionados of manouche, gypsy, or swing jazz, we know that the musical form inspired by Jean “Django” Reinhardt isn’t all flash and speed. Of course, there is that — but the music inspired by the French jazz master consists of highly accessible, melodic arrangements with an ebb and flow all their own. That accessibility was on full display Saturday night at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance at The Patterson Theater during the 3rd Annual Charm City Django Jazz Fest.