Hot Club of Tucson
Tuesday, May 28, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, The Arizona Senior Academy Building
The Arizona Senior Academy welcomes back Hot Club of Tucson, a trio of local musicians Nick Coventry (violin), Matt Mitchell (guitar) and Evan Dain (upright bass). They play the swinging styles of traditional gypsy jazz, French jazz, American Tin Pan Alley, and original tunes that will get your toes tapping and fingers snapping.
Gypsy jazz, also known as “hot jazz,” originated in Paris in the 1930s and 1940s with Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli and their Quintette du Hot Club de France. Inspired by American jazz brought to Europe by Louis Armstrong, the Parisian musicians developed their own style of swinging jazz. The Quintette included a bass and two rhythm guitar players, who provided a percussive backdrop as Reinhardt and Grappelli traded solos.
Hot Club of Tucson has changed personnel over the years, having started as a quintet. The current trio is a mainstay at the Hotel Congress where they play each Sunday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. They have appeared at the Tucson Folk Festival many times over the years, and in 2016 inaugurated the Django Southwest Festival in conjunction with the annual Tucson Jazz Festival.
Nick Coventry studied violin as a youngster and at age 12, heard a recording of Stephane Grappelli, whereupon he determined to learn the style of gypsy jazz. He started his first gypsy swing band while studying classical violin at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Matt Mitchell first studied classical piano but moved on to guitar, playing rock, jazz and classical music. He eventually earned a degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Arizona.
Evan Dain’s first instrument was guitar, followed by bass, banjo and mandolin. His musical career has encompassed traditional, modern and Latin jazz, rock, bluegrass, pop and country western styles.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer