Last September, I attended my first DjangoFest. I took a couple workshops with Michael Horowitz (owner of DjangoBooks.com, and one of my wedding musicians) and Stochelo Rosenberg (wow). I've since dabbled here and there in the concepts I picked up, but I've been more focused over the past year on my teaching and other styles. Gypsy jazz has a specific technique, sound, and repertoire that all take time and commitment to master.
So I checked out this year's lineup to see if I'll want to attend again. Joscho Stephan will be there. This video of Joscho blew my mind five years ago, and is the reason I'm aware of and excited about modern gypsy jazz. (That, and I was taking lessons with Steve Nichols in San Diego a few years ago when he was shedding Django tunes for his new band, The Gypsy Swing Cats.)
I grabbed the phone to sign up for this year's DjangoFest (Sep 20-23) and to make sure I'll be in Joshco's workshop. And since I've been thinking about it for a while, what better time to buy my own gypsy jazz guitar? I did my research, tried out several options, and settled on the Atamira M10D, all a very quick process with DjangoBooks.com headquarters located a few miles from my doorstep. Here's a little video:
More to come as I keep learning!