Watch Gypsy Swing Jazz
I’d never really heard of Gypsy Swing Jazz before and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when my boyfriend and I rocked up to Le Quecumbar in Battersea, London on Tuesday evening. He’d seen the evening advertised in Time Out magazine and as he loves music so much, we thought we’d go along and check it out — it turned out to be a great evening. The restaurant was made to look and feel very Parisian because its inspiration is Django Reinhardt, a Belgian Jazz guitarist who spent most of his youth in Romani (Gypsy) encampments close to Paris, playing banjo, guitar and violin from an early age. Gypsy Jazz was his speciality and along with his friend Stephane Grappelli, they would jam together along with a loose circle of other musicians. He was quite a character and along every wall of Le Quecumbar, there were paintings of Django.
The photographs aren’t very good quality as they were all snapped on my phone, but I just had to try and capture some of the ‘magic’ as they say! What started off as three guys playing on their guitars turned into a big jamming session with a flute, clarinet, harpsichord, bongos and double bass joining in. They weren’t reading to music, they just listened to one another play and everything flowed perfectly and sounded brilliant – even a few ladies began dancing and every time someone new entered the pub they seemed to be carrying an instrument of some sort. It was a brilliant atmosphere and a great experience which I wasn’t expecting. If I had been looking at Time Out magazine and seen Gypsy Swing Jazz, I probably would have skimmed straight passed it, but thanks to my boyfriend I had a really special evening with delicious food, wine and brilliant live music.