In late-August, 2005, powerful Hurricane Katrina compromised an inadequate U.S. Federal levy system leaving 80% of the city of New Orleans under water. Among the over four-thousand displaced musicians was clarinetist Evan Christopher, a California native who first moved to the Crescent City in 1994. With little more than his clarinet and a suitcase full of clothes, Christopher chose Paris, France for his exile at the invitation of the City of Paris. During this artist residency, funded by an American program called French-American Cultural Exchange, he worked diligently to raise awareness about the musical culture of New Orleans through concerts and masterclasses. He also formed his own groups, the JazzTraditions PROJECT and Django à la Créole.
For Django à la Créole, the idea was simple enough: Spice up the Hot Club texture pioneered by Django Reinhardt by emphasizing hallmarks of New Orleans Jazz including blues, rhythms of the monde Créole, and collective improvisation. The project debuted in August 2007 with performances in Great Britain and a small international jazz festival in Haugesund, Norway. As early as February 2007, Christopher began commuting back to the United States to work with touring New Orleans groups but in December, just prior to his move back to New Orleans, he made this recording. The quartet released the CD in New Orleans during the 25th anniversary of the famous French Quarter Festival.
Evan Christopher’s Django à la Créole
Rhythms of New Orleans, the Caribbean and Brazil European with European Gypsy swing. Clarinettist, Evan Christopher is possibly the world’s finest clarinetist. He combines virtuosity and immaculate taste with a strong root in New Orleans jazz. Elegant and impassioned, Evan’s style is steeped in the tradition of early jazz masters such as Sidney Bechet, Jimmie Noone, and Barney Bigard. With guitarists David Blenkhorn and Dave Kelbie, and bassist Sebastien
Girardot, he celebrates the music of the legendary Django Reinhardt and enlivens swing-era classics with fresh interpretations and virtuosic improvisation.
Their first CD, Django à la Créole was released to much worldwide acclaim.
The 2nd, ‘Finesse’ was the 2010 Sunday Times jazz album of the year!
“Live!’, released in 2014 received these accolades
SUNDAY TIMES top 10 jazz albums of 2014
DAILY TELEGRAPH top 30 jazz albums of 2014
THE SCOTSMAN top 10 jazz albums of 2014
CTLIVE top 10 jazz albums of 2014
OFFBEAT MAGAZINE top 50 Louisiana Album Releases Of 2014
JAZZTIMES top 50 CDs of 2014
Annual Jazz Critics Poll 2014
EVAN CHRISTOPHER – Clarinet
DON VAPPIE – Guitar/Banjo/Vocals
DAVE KElBIE – Guitar
SEBASTIEN GIRARDOT – Double Bass
THE SUNDAY TIMES UK
AHMET ERTEGUN, FOUNDING CHAIRMAN OF ATLANTIC RECORDS
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL ST JOURNAL
JAZZ CLASSIQUE FRANCE
NEW YORK TIMES
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