Visit the smoky jazz clubs with Isabell Fontaine in Meet Me in Paris

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meet me in paris with isabelle fontaineThe acclaimed Hot Club of San Francisco and the popular French vocalist Isabelle Fontaine will perform Meet Me in Paris, a charming concert invoking the small, smoky jazz clubs of Paris and refined lounges of the Hotel Ritz, at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on Wednesday and Thursday, May 19-20 at 7 p.m.

Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…one of the most cohesive and entertaining Gypsy swing bands in the United States,” Hot Club of San Francisco celebrates the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Hot Club de France.

The ensemble borrows the all-string instrumentation of violin, stand-up bass and guitars from the original Hot Club, but breathes new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group’s lead guitarist Paul Mehling. The Gypsy Jazz music of Hot Club of San Francisco has entertained audiences around the globe for 18 years. Ms. Fontaine’s mix of sweet and sultry songs adds a touch of beauty and authenticity that echoes the historic Ville-Lumière, “the city of light”.

Jazz aficionados everywhere are forming Hot Clubs in honor of Django Reinhardt’s famous Quintet of the Hot Club de France. Reinhardt is hailed as one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived, but many people overlook his roots in Gypsy culture and the musically fertile, multi-lingual Paris of the 1920s. Reinhardt and his companions used these elements, along with American jazz, to create this new music, but the dark, chromatic Gypsy flavor seems to be the most important ingredient. It is delicate but the rhythms are played at breakneck speed. It has a swinging, jazzy feel but many of the songs are waltzes. Hot Club of San Francisco has preserved this classic style while propelling the Gypsy Jazz tradition into the 21st Century with 11 CD releases and Paul Mehling’s original compositions.

Meet Me in Paris will be performed in the Carpenter Center’s most unique setting: an intimate cabaret arrangement where the audience sits on stage and enjoys the performance from their tables. Single tickets start at $45 for performance only. Discounts and dinner packages are available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Carpenter Center Arts Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000, or by visiting www.CarpenterArts.org.

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