For all those readers of The Jazz Clarinet who didn't know it yet, I'm now a proud member of the Cleveland-based gypsy jazz ensemble, Hot Djang. For several months I've been subbing as a lead voice whenever jazz violinist Reed Simon or guitarist Kevin Richards had a gigging conflict--and always jumped at the opportunity, as these guys are some of the best and most soulful players out there.
As a clarinetist, it's a dream to work in this particular genre, with this group of talented musicians. There is probably no greater freedom for a clarinetist, as all registers jump without trouble--and being the sole wind voice gives me a melodic and timbral scope almost impossible to find in other ensembles. Each of the musicians in the group--Brad Smedley, Bryan Thomas, Kevin, and Reed--bring out new things in my playing every time out: it's jazz at its best!
Hot Djang has a standing monthly gig every third Friday evening, from 7:30 to 10:30 in the lounge of Rockefeller's Restaurant at the corner of Mayfield and Lee Roads in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. We play a wide range of Django Reinhardt tunes and hot jazz numbers. If you're in Cleveland, or nearby, stop in and hear us--I'll keep this blog up to date as to our whereabouts and activities.
|You never know who'll show up at Rockefeller's for a Hot Djang gig: |
here I am with Franklin Cohen of the Cleveland Orchestra.