Django in June

Artists & Staff in 2014


Here's where you'll find short introductions to the artists who will be joining us at Django in June in 2014 as teachers and performers. This year we're thrilled to welcome back Les Doigts de L'Homme, last seen and heard in these parts in 2011. All five members of that group -- Olivier Kikteff, Benoît Convert, Yannick Alcocer (all on guitar), Antoine Girard (accordion) and Tanguy Blum (bass) -- will join our Django Camp staff and offer a concert on the weekend.

And for the first time, we welcome the distinguished founder of Latcho Drom, Christophe Lartilleux and his daughter Deborah. Joining them in concert will be Philippe "Doudou" Cuillerier and Aurelien Trigo. Doudou is likely to do double duty on rhythm guitar on Friday night, since we are also welcoming another friend of his, Samson Schmitt, who'll be performing with our old friend, Tim Kliphuis. Another distinguished newcomer: Mr. Don Stiernberg holding the mandolin chair.

But that's just the start...please see the profiles below for these and all the other artists on our Django Camp staff in 2014. At the time of this writing (mid-March) there is still time to bring on even more staff and there are plenty who would like to be here to work with you. So please register as early as possible so we can offer everyone the best learning, jamming, listening experence possible.


Guitar Violin
Olivier Kikteff (France, Les Doigts de l'Homme) Tim Kliphuis
Benoît Convert (France, Les Doigts de l'Homme) Aurelien Trigo (France; Latcho Drom)
Yannick Alcocer (Bolivia, France, Les Doigts de l'Homme) Karin van Kooten (Holland)
Samson Schmitt (France)  
Christophe & Deborah Lartilleux (France; Latcho Drom) Mandolin
Doudou Cuillerier (France; Latcho Drom) Don Stiernberg (Chicago)
Denis Chang (Montreal; DC-Music School;Sesame Street)  
Adrian Holovaty (Chicago) Accordion
Christine Tassan (France, Canada) Antoine Girard (France, Les Doigts de l'Homme)
Jeff Radaich (California) Dallas Vietty (Pennsylvania)
Jack Soref (Boston)  
Jimmy Grant (California) Bass
William Brunard (Paris) Tanguy Blum (France, Les Doigts de l'Homme)
Thomas Baggerman (Holland)
Other Helper-Outers include: Rob Cuellari, Darius Scheider, Luke Hendon Mike Nikolidakis, Gage Hulsey and Brad Brose.


Olivier Kikteff : Guitar

First and foremost, for our purposes, Olivier Kikteff is the leader of one of our featured groups at Django in June this year, Les Doigts De L'Homme. But by the time he formed the first iteration of that group at the wizend age of 23, he had already worn many musical hats. He started teaching electric guitar in a music store -- all levels, all styles -- at the age of 14. Next came work in musical theater, Celtic ensembles and a long stint with Bil Aka Kora, an apprenticeship during which he both performed on guitar and studied traditional instruments from Kora's native Burkina Faso. (We digress to note that the style of music for which Kora is best known is called Djongo. Nice, huh?)

Since 2003, Olivier's main gig has been with the ever-evolving ensemble, Le Doigts De L'Homme. They were last at Django in June in 2011 and earned rave reviews as performers and teachers. Surf the links provided below and you will be treated to an agile and creative guitarist, a fine vocalist, an engaging performer, and a man with an evident love and gift for the theatrical. Add all that up and you have a guy you'd like to spend a week -- or at least an evening with, should you have the opportunity. And once again, in 2014, we're happy to offer you just that.


Benoît Convert : Guitar

This will be Benoit's 3rd time on the Django in June staff. He first came with Les Doigts De L'Homme in 2011, and he'll be back for their triumphant return this year. In between -- that would be just last year -- he joined his pals Adrien Moignard, Gonzalo Bergara and Jeremie Arranger to provide the four main pillars supporting our Saturday night show at The Academy. Back home in France, Benoît has the distinction of being featured on the second Selmer #607 volume, on which the very best of the next generation of Django-influenced guitarists are recorded playing one of Django's own Selmer guitars, offering us a preview of tomorrow's Gypsy jazz.

That said...anyone with access to YouTube or a CD player knows to expect great things from Benoit as performer. What you might not know is that on both his previous visits our Django Campers gave him high marks as a teacher as well. So if you are ready to take advantage of Benoit's expertise, he's happy to share.

In addition to the links below, be sure to follow those under Olivier Kikteff's bio as well for more...


Samson Schmitt : Guitar

Gypsy jazz has always been a family affair, and the Schmitts are one of the great clans of the genre. Cousins Dorado and Tchavolo Schmitt are among the best known and respected players of their generation (both were born in the 1950's and have performed since the 70's.) Dorado was introduced to both guitar and violin by his father, and he has played the same tutorial role for his trio of talented sons, Samson, Bronson and Amati. Samson is, at 34, the eldest of the bunch and the first of the Schmitts we've had the pleasure of hosting at Django in June.

Swing by and the music on auto-play there will—if you know your Reinhardts—remind you more of Babik than of Django. But wherever new growth takes him over the course of what we hope will be a long and inventive musical career, Samson's roots will be in traditional Gypsy jazz. He has played with all the greats, played all the major festivals of Europe and abroad. But for our purposes as students of this music, what should interest you most is the first video clip below, from a French documentary made in 1991. In it, Dorado Schmitt walks young Samson, note by note, through sections of Django's 1937 solo on Minor Swing. Which is to say, Samson Schmitt does not know the Gypsy jazz tradition; he is the tradition.


Christophe & Deborah Lartilleux: Guitar & Bass

I first encountered Christophe Lartilleux in the early 2000's while en route in my cyber-caravan, squatting by the YouTube campfire. His claim to screen fame in that moment was that he had worked out a number of entire Django Reinhardt solos with the left hand fingerings that Django himself likely used. It was a fascinating demonstration of the impossible: playing what are already challenging solos with only his index and middle fingers. While I appreciated the performances as pure novelty—a sort of musical Houdini act—I could also see their instructional value for anyone trying to wrap their own mind and fingers around Django's distinctive approach to the guitar. This year at Django Camp you'll have access to those same insights, but face to face, finger to finger, with Christophe. He'll be ably assisted both musically and linguistically by his daughter, Deborah, who plays both bass and guitar.

The circus ran away with Christophe early in his life. His mother, herself manouche, was of the Hart-Goujon circus family, and Christophe spent his childhood in the show's caravan as it traversed France and beyond. His father Yvon was a professional guitarist whose early career was spent (as was Django's) accompanying accordionists playing la musette. As the popularity of that musical style declined Yvon would become a banquiste—a musician for the circus. With a musician father and a Gypsy mother, well, suffice it to say that neither Christophe nor Deborah has fallen far from the tree.

Christophe founded and has led the group Latcho Drom since 1993. His primary musical inspiration for that group was and remains Django Reinhardt. But as we see again and again as we get to know artists with deep roots in the Gypsy jazz tradition, his musical explorations didn't start in the 1920's or stop at 1953. Christophe cites musicians as diverse as Pat Metheny and Chick Corea, Paganini and Ravel as profound influences. An experienced teacher, he was on the faculty of l'ecole Music'Halles de Toulouse for many years and offers workshops in the course of his wide travels as a performer. Like, in Northampton Massachusetts, June, 2014.


Philippe "Doudou" Cuillerier: Guitar

Philippe Cuillerier could have been a contender...on saxophone. His father, himself a top-tier Parisian player, introduced him to the instrument at the age of seven. And although young "Doudou" didn't follow that track to its apparent end, surely he learned something essential in that study about prana -- life-energizing breath -- and that has been serving him ever since as he has pursued his own true love: singing.

He himself has said that the opportunity to accompany himself as a singer -- on the great songs of Brassen and Brel, the Beatles and John Renbourn -- was his main motivation for taking up guitar at 17. Not long after, he and Max Robin formed the Fernando Jazz Gang. He then met no less than Angelo Debarre, for whom he played rhythm in many settings for years. The list of other artists for whom he has served as pompiste is impressive enough that most require only one name: Romane, Tchavolo, Bireli, Florin, Babik, Stochelo, Rodolphe...oh, and "Christophe", as in, Lartilleux, of Latcho Drom.

In 2004 he co-founded Doudou Swing, which now offer him a vehicle for both concerts and educational programs for youngsters and adults alike. And, speaking of education, soon it will be your turn to learn a thing or two from this well-rounded and well-respected musician. He'll be on staff for all of Django Camp and performing with both Latcho Drom and Samson Schmitt on Friday night.


Yannick Alcocer : Guitar

Born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia in 1977, Yannick Alcocer began his musical career playing Latin American music with his father. Years later, en france, he got the funk...and the rock and the soul and the Celtic. Somewhere in there he also caught the Django bug and could be found thoughout the early years of the new millenium performing and recording Django-inflected Swing with a number of different ensembles.

A founding member of Les Doigts De L'Homme (with Olivier and Tanguy, 2003) Yannick has been with them ever since. When those Doigts (which means "fingers", by the way) are not busy, he occupies his own with other projects, including the Trio Pas La Peine with fellow Doigts Benoît Convert. In addition to the links below, be sure to follow those under Olivier Kikteff's bio for more of Yannick's work with Les Doigts De L'Homme.


Denis Chang : Guitar

Denis Chang has been on our staff at Django in June from Year 2 on. (Year 1, we had no "staff", just our guest artists, the Robin Nolan Trio.) Early on Denis attracted the attention and earned the gratitude of many students of the style by virtue of his high-quality transcriptions of solos by Django Reinhardt and other GJ masters, especially those of Django himself and the extended Rosenberg clan. Next came the authoritative DVD's produced by HyperHip Media: Jazz Manouche: The Art of Accompaniment, and the four volume Jazz Manouche: Technique & Improvisation.

Throughout that time Denis has cultivated friendships and musical collaborations with many European masters of the style—some well-known, some less. No matter. Denis recognizes quality when he hears it. Lucky for us, he's a quick learner and a generous teacher, so we all get the benefit of his long travels, his attentiveness to (some would say, obsession with) detail, and his eagerness to share.

With his latest project DC Music School coming online over the past year, Denis is creating an even wider platform from which to do just that—share. By all means check it out. But note this as well: with that project under way, his work and travel schedule are now scary-busy, which means that opportunities for face-to-face tutelage with Denis are getting rarer. Come June, you'll know where to find him.


Adrian Holovaty: Guitar

Adrian Holovaty started by wearing the "student" cap at Django in June, attending Django Camp from 2007 to 2012 as a fervent jammer and spongelike absorber of all we had to offer. In 2013 he donned his "teacher" chapeau to become the first non-professional musician to make the transition from camper to staff.

How'd that go, you ask? Great—he was among our most highly-rated teachers on the post-camp evaluation. No surprise there—Adrian has been teaching weekly gypsy jazz classes at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music for three years now. Not incedentally, he's also the guy who has brought us all Soundslice, a great tool for students of any genre.

In other news, Adrian continues to garner followers of his popular YouTube videos at He also got to gig with Sebastien Giniaux at the Louisville Django festival in November (rhythm for Sebastien's set, plus an opening set with his own trio). Back in sweet home Chicago he can be found gigging with Alfonso Ponticelli, with Chico Malo Trio and with his own Tro. In June, we (which means, you) get him!


Christine Tassan : Guitar

Christine Tassan was born in France, but emmigrated to Quebec in 1994. Her musical migration led from her first love, singing, through classical guitar and songwriting before bringing her to a serious study of Swing guitar à la Django. You can recognize and enjoy all these influences in the music she now makes with Christine Tassan et les Imposteures. Of the 14 songs on their latest disc, C’est l’heure de l’apéro, Christine wrote or co-wrote fully half. The four women who make up the troupe are all vocalists (as well as instrumentalists) and their tight, sophisticated vocal arrangements bring a welcome balance to a tradition heavily tilted toward men and things with strings.

Christine joined our guitar staff last year and was among our most highly rated teachers by the only people whose vote really matters: the many Level 1 students who studied with her. They appreciated her patience, her preparation and the self-evident pleasure she took in sharing her knowledge with them. Anyone new to this style or still working on the basics is fully warrented to wonder, "Will there be a place for me at Django in June?" Christine Tassan is one of many reasons we can answer, with confidence: "YES!"


Jeff Radaich : Guitar

Lotsa folks know Jeff Radaich as the rhythm guitarist for the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, a role any GJ guitarist can be proud of. But like so many of the best European rhythm players, Jeff plays lead well enough to front his own band. And, come to mention it, he does. A couple of them. Here's the blurb from one:

The Black Market Trust is an American Gypsy-Jazz group consisting of lead guitarist Jeff Radaich, rhythm guitarist Chris Irwin, and bassist Brian Netzley. Their sound is characterized by a hybrid of both new school pop and old world jazz. Combining a Brill-Building-sensibility to songwriting with flashy guitar and an incredible swinging rhythm section, the BMT makes jazz for people who hate jazz.

They put out their first CD last year. I know, I know, you crave more blurb. Here:

Bad-to-the-bone debut album inspired by Django Reinhardt, and informed by Eddie Van Halen and The Beatles. Comes in an eco-friendly cardboard sleeve shrink-wrapped in non-eco-friendly plastic. The album features 10 original songs and a rousing version of the classic "Good Morning" from the musical "Singin' in the Rain."

Nice copy, and even better music. Jeff has been on staff here thrice before, which makes him a regular. I'm going to let you guess why, with one proviso: even though he is dashingly handsome, that's not the reason. If you opt to work with him this year, you'll know.


Jack Soref : Guitar

For the last couple of years Boston-based Jack Soref has served Django in June with distinction in a number of capacities. He is the person most responsible for the Core Repertoire lead sheets we make available each year so you can be better prepared. He leads one of the morning warm-ups on those tunes. (Early morning duty earns you double points in my book...thanks Jack!) He is the one primarily responsible for communication with the teachers regarding our instructional program in the months leading up to the event. And, last but not least, he is himself one of said teachers.

Jack became captivated by Django’s music after two life-changing visits to the Django Reinhardt festival in Samois-sur-Seine in 2002 and ‘03. (Which may be where we met...I was there in '03 too.) As a teenager he managed to pick up tips and tricks from players such as Robin Nolan, Jan Brouwer, Jonny Hepbir, and Alfonso Ponticelli. Subsequently, Jack moved to Boston to continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music, as well as at our very own Django Camp. For half of 2011, frère Jacques studied the music of Django Reinhardt at its source by moving to Paris, France. While there he tormented us with emails detailing his exploits jamming and performing with old masters (Boulou!, Florin!) and young lions of the scene on the Seine. He meant well.

Jack has since performed in the Django style with his band Sinti Rhythm and as sideman with just about every GJ player within 2 hours of Beantown. Most recently he's been playing rhythm for Ameranouche. He has been a featured artist at the Brooklyn Djangology Festival two years running and played on the main-stage of The Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival in 2009. He's one of the feathers in our regional cap and—as you'll soon discover—a terrific teacher.



William Brunard : Guitar & Bass

When I mentioned to Kamlo Barre (above) that I had invited William Brunard to join us this year, this was his response: "I've know William since he was 12! I consider him like my "little brother." We did a first concert together when he was 15! Then we had a trio together, and now we have this quartet with Mathieu Châtelain and Max Marcilly!"

I love when that happens. The thing is, though, I bet I would get a similar response regarding William from half the jazz manouche musicians in Paris. Here's a game you might play: go type his name into youtube. I just did and here's the lineup of musicians he shows up with, in order: Noë Reinhardt, Michael Gimenez, Rocky Gresset, Gustav Lundgren, Adrien Moignard, Mathieu Chatelain, Frangy Delporte...shall I continue, or have I made my point? If you don't recognize those names, you need a trip to Paris. One of your first stops should be l'Atelier Charonne. Make it a Sunday evening, when William hosts the jam session there, including a set with a special invité who is likely among the best players on the planet.

Another striking thing about the results of that youtube search is that William is as likely to appear playing bass as guitar, and both at a very high level. At Django Camp he will be working primarily as a guitar instructor. On Saturday he'll play bass for Samson and Tim in concert at the Academy.


Michael Horowitz: Guitar

Time it was, if you didn't have direct access to an instructor playing in the traditional Gypsy style you were to left to your own devices when it came to figuring out how Django got his distinctive sound, how he moved across the fingerboard, or how he and his accompanists approached rhythm guitar. With the publication of his Gypsy Picking, Michael changed all that and, in one fell rest stroke, raised the bar for written Gypsy jazz instructional materials everywhere. (I exempt the Gypsies’ own oral tradition from the sphere of his influence. But how many of us have— like Michael—had access to that?) Since then, his Djangobooks publishing company and website have continued to provide an extraordinary array of resources for students and fans of this rich tradition.

Michael has joined us at Django in June every year since Year II (2005) and he'll be back again this year for the weekend. Truth be told, folks usually keep him too busy with merchandise for him to teach much, but if you're working your way through one of his books and you have a question, here's your big chance to put it too him face to face. Then root through the DjangoBooks storehouse—he'll have a large selection of books, CDs, DVD's, picks and strings—and set yourself up for the coming year.


Jimmy Grant: Guitar

There are some fine young players of jazz manouche on the west coast of these United States. Here's one for you: Jimmy Grant. Native of Northern California, Jimmy Grant grew up in a household full of rich musical influences that inspired a passion for the music of Django Reinhardt. While his influences grew to include Russian Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic and Classical, he continued to develop gypsy jazz technique and repertoire. The work has paid off: just this morning I was looking at a picture of him at DjangoFest Mill Valley, in the estemed company of Robin Nolan, Tim Kliphuis and Olli Soikkeli. Jimmy has also performed with hot clubbers David Grisman, Ludovic Beier, Andreas Oberg, Gonzalo Bergara and the Hot Club of San Francisco.

His Jimmy Grant Ensemble performs primarily in the style of Django Reinhardt, infusing swing era pieces, original work, and traditional gypsy tunes with the jazz guitar pioneer’s crunchy rhythms and hot harmonies. A composer as well, Jimmy was recently a finalist in the John Lennon songwriting competition for his original song “Insomnia.” Guitar World interviewed him for his “5 in 5″ project, in which he wrote five different songs in five days. Come to think about it, that's just about how much time you'll have with him. Let's see what you can accomplish together!



Thomas Baggerman: Guitar

At some point in the months leading up to our first Django Camp in 2007 I was contacted by a Dutch fellow (who has over the years come to be part of our extended Django in June family. I would call him a gentleman but, really, how gentle can a washboard player be? But I digress.) He knew a young Dutch musician, a friend of the family, whom he thought would love to be at Django Camp. Could we work together to make it easier for the lad to join us?

So I hid a pea under the walnut shells I keep handy for such moments, shuffled them around, and when I was sufficiently confused, Thomas Baggerman was registered. He came, and if it's not quite accurate to say "he conquered", he did win us over. And not only with his skill—which was already formidable when he was still in his teens—but by his friendliness, his modesty and the joy he radiated just playing, playing, playing. His friend was right: this was where Thomas belonged that week of that year (and the next, after which he was busy at conservatory in June.)

Now we have the distinct pleasure of welcoming him back as a budding pro. He leads the Thomas Baggerman Trio, with his brother Max on rhythm and Machiel Willemsen on bass. They've already gigged a bunch in Holland and the rest of Europe (Breda Jazzfestival, Django Reinhardt Festival Hildesheim, Festival Django Liberchies, the open stage at The Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois sur Seine...) and recently released a recording with jazz singer Eva Scholten, Eva Sur Seine. Still near the start of that wild rumpus that is the life of a performing artist, we wish him great success. As for your own good fortunes—you who are attending Django Camp in 2014—just spend some time with Thomas and I think you'll find them vastly improved.


Tim Kliphuis: Violin

Since the earliest editions of Django in June (including when it was just a weekend event) Tim Kliphuis has joined us roughly every other year to head up our violin team. That's because both our violin students and audiences love him. Which means I love him.

My first exposure to Tim's work was on one of my very favorite Gypsy jazz recordings, Fleur D'Ennu, with Fapy Lafertin. I believe it was through those early collaborations with Fapy that Tim first began to make his mark on the international Gypsy jazz scene, but he has since performed and recorded with many of the top-tier GJ guitarists: Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo DeBarre, Robin Nolan, England's Gary Potter and many others. This year we'll pair him with Samson Schmitt for one of our weekend concerts.

A recognized expert in the jazz violin styling of Django's most memorable counterpart, Stephane Grappelli, Tim released The Grappelli Tribute in 2005. He offers workshops on Grappelli's style around the world, puts on his own Grappelli Camp in Holland and has produced a rich and growing compendium of instructional resources for students of the style, including Mel Bay's, Stephane Grappelli Gypsy Jazz Violin and the HyperHip Media DVD Hot Jazz Violin. His most recent project (that I'm aware of) is the Tim Kliphuis Trio’s new live CD “The Grappelli Album” featuring some of his favorite material from the Django Reinhardt years and 5 beautiful, re-premiered Grappelli compositions.


Aurelien Trigo: Violin

Aurelien Trigo was last here in 2009 as a performer with the Denis Chang Quartet. He returns to us in 2014 as a member of Christophe Lartilleux's Latcho Drom—and as a teacher for all of Django Camp.

Aurélien began violin studies at the age of 6 and continued his classical training for 12 years before turning to jazz. Along the way, he earned a Conservatory diploma in both classical violin and solfeggio. Follow that with a year of study with Florin Niculescu, two years with Didier Lockwood, Eastern European music with Costel Nitescu and a lot of time jamming with the best musicians in Paris—which is to say, some of the best musicians to ever break a B string—and you are ready for just about anything that might be related to the Django-jazz tradition.

Over the course of the past decade. Aurelien has recorded and performed in any number of combinations with all the members of the Selmer 607 collectif, with Chriss Campion, Yorgui Loeffler, Am Ketenes, Titi Demeter, Serge Krief, Angelo Debarre and, of course, Christophe Lartilleux.



Karin van Kootin: Violin

Karin van Kootin joins our lengthening (and most satisfying) list of teachers who first came here as Django Campers—which was all the more impressive in her case in that she made the 2009 trek all the way from Holland. At that point she had already graduated with a degree in classical violin from Brabants Conservatorium, but was still a relative newcomer to jazz improvisation and a student of one Tim Kliphuis. She would later relocate to Paris where she lived and breathed jazz: more trad stuff in cafes and clubs; modern jazz as a student at Didier Lockwood's school.

She now performs in a variety of settings with Gypsy jazz artists and in a duo with accordion virtuoso Stanislav Jusufovic. Karin has also made the leap from student of Tim's to one of the teachers at the annual Grappelli Camp he now hosts in The Netherlands.


Antoine Girard: Accordion

Antoine Girard comes to us, quite simply, as the 5th finger on the hand of Les Doigts de l'Homme (literally, "the fingers of man," and a word-riff on "the rights of man.") When they were last here in 2011 they were an all-string band. Now they have some pumping to go with all that pompe-ing.

But if you have any knowledge whatsoever of Les Doigts, you know their music is marked by a level of virtuosity, harmonic sophistication and creativity that matches any in (what we'll call) the Gypsy jazz diaspora. Whatever Kikteff and Co. were hearing in their heads by way of new arrangements—perhaps even new directions for the group as it approached the milestone of having been together for a decade—it is a feather in Antoine's chapeau that his fingers could grasp what the others were reaching for.

Antoine is conservatory degreed in jazz piano, but has strayed well beyond the borders of even that expansive musical terrain, perhaps most most notably (for us) into the music of eastern Europe. Following trips to that region he formed the quartet Frumoasa Viatsa, featuring acoustic music of the musette, manouche and Romanian traditions. In 2008, he joined the Balkan music group, Slonovski Bal, and later co-founded the group Yashaa, which focuses primarily on music of the eastern Balkan regions. So if you were around last year and enjoyed Tcha Limberger and Sergiu Popa's musical touring of Hungary, Moldova and beyond, well, maybe you'll hear their echo this year from Antoine on or off stage. In addition to the links below, check out any recent video of Les Doigts. You'll find him center stage.



Dallas Vietty: Accordion

Dallas has a really nice bio of himself on his really nice website so I'll mostly let him speak for himself:

"Dallas Vietty is an American jazz accordionist located in Easton, PA, specializing in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz. He began playing the accordion in 2001, and has studied jazz and arranging at California State University Northridge and accordion performance with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at Acme Accordion School. 

As a soloist he performs widely, and won first place in the Free Bass category at the American Accordionist Musicological Society Festival in 2011.  As a band leader, his groups have performed at Musikfest 2012, Djangoary Festival 2011 and 2012, Djangofolies Festival 2012, Djangology Festival 2012, TEDxPhilly 2010, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and many other concerts around the country. As an educator he has taught at the famous Django music camp Django in June, led workshops at the American Accordionist Association Conference 2012, and has a prolific private studio and growing online teaching presence. He is one of a few who have a curriculum and knowledge of Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the piano accordion.

He currently leads Musette Project, a contemporary take on the modernist waltz compositions of the mid-century Parisian accordionists, and Hot Bijouxx, an early 20th century inspired  hot swing group."

Very thorough, huh? Plus...we're "famous" now! Love that. Dallas has been on our staff for several years at this point, working with the other accordionists who cycle through, and gets rave reviews as a teacher and all 'round mensch.


Don Stiernberg : Mandolin

It says right here on the "bio" page of his website that, "for decades Don Stiernberg has been known around Chicago as a busy and versatile musician." Well, the "busy" part I can attest to, as I write to him just about every year to see if he'd like to work with our brave band of Django-mando players. This year he was busy again. But for once my procrastination paid off because in early January something fell through...and suddenly he wasn't. So Don is our mando-man this year. Score! Now, back to that bio page of his:

"His 1999 release "About Time" on Blue Night Records garnered exposure on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Since then he has appeared at festivals and clubs around the country and recorded four more titles for Blue Night Records: "Unseasonably Cool"(2001), and, with guitarist John Carlini, "Angel Eyes"(2004)and the all-Gershwin collection "By George"(2005). "Home Cookin'"(2007) makes jazz vehicles out of tunes by Bob Wills, Wes Montgomery, Jethro Burns, James Taylor, and Stevie Wonder. Don's mandolin can also be heard on dozens of recordings by other artists in genres ranging from bluegrass to pop and children's music."

An experienced teacher, Don has been a faculty member at The Mandolin Symposium and taught at Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp, Ashokan Western and Swing Week, The Winnipeg Folkfest, Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, The IBMA World of Bluegrass in Louisville, KY and elsewhere. He has written the jazz column for Mandolin Magazine since it began publication. Don fronts his own jazz quartet and gigs lots. So, all in all, a "busy and versatile musician." Indeed. Don't miss your chance to spend a few days with him at Django in June!


Tanguy Blum : Bass

Tanguy Blum has been with Les Doigts De L'Homme from the group's inception in 2003, playing on all four of their CD's and touring extensively with them. Born in 1978 in Nancy, he earned his licence de musicologie in 2001 and studied bass at the conservatoire de Rennes. He has been involved with several other musical projects, including the Donna Jazz Quartet, but mostly...he lays the foundation and holds together the supporting structure for all those high-flying doigts. He'll be our main double bass instructor for all of Django Camp.

For audio and video of Tanguy at work, check out anything above (or elsewhere) of Les Doigts De L'Homme. He's always in the mix.

Other folks helping out whom you'll see on the Django Camp Schedule in any number of capacities: teachers, warm-up leaders, jam facilitators, and rhythm players for non-guitar classes. Thank you, gentlmen!


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