On Saturday, May 21, the Mainstay in Rock Hall welcomes gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel and his Trio. Wrembel is quite simply often cited by music critics and fans as “one of the finest guitar players in the world,” specializing in the gypsy-jazz style of legendary composer/guitarist Django Reinhardt.
Born in Paris he first studied classical piano, beginning at the age of four. But in his mid-teens, he discovered that he had an affinity for guitar, and his unique opportunities led him into the same Gypsy culture that Django emerged from. Not a Gypsy himself, Wrembel immersed himself in the “Sinti” gypsy culture, spending “six, seven years going to the Roma camps, playing for Gypsy weddings, parties, playing with Gypsy friends.” “By going there, I learned what it really means to play gypsy-style guitar – and I learned from the masters that still played in the campsites a lot.”
Wrembel has had a remarkable career, touring the world, while releasing 16 albums under his name and the nom de plume, The Django Experiment. His original compositions (and soundtrack recordings) have been featured in three of Woody Allen’s films – “Vicki Cristina Barcelona”, “Midnight in Paris”, and “Rifkin’s Festival”.In October of 2019, Wrembel released the highly regarded Django L’Impressioniste recording, featuring 17 of Reinhardt’s preludes for solo guitar, followed by a book of his transcriptions in April of 2021.
His live performance is unparalleled. Wrembel has headlined Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Town Hall in NYC and The Lyon Opera House in France. He has toured with master violinist Mark O’Connor and shared stages with Sam Bush, Stochelo Rosenberg, Esperanza Spalding, and Al Di Meola. Wrembel has dazzled audiences at such major gatherings as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Django Reinhardt Festival in France, and the Caramoor Jazz Festival. His program, Django New Orleans, recently sold out eight shows at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center. His new program, Shades of Django, will be presented in performing art centers around the country in the fall of this year, including two nights at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The New York Times has gone on record as saying that Wrembel is “Perhaps the most creative improviser in Gypsy jazz today.”
Showtime for the live concert event is 8 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance of the show and can be purchased online at mainstayrockhall.org. Phone reservations are accepted by calling (410) 639-9133 (tickets reserved by phone are $25 when paid at the door). The Mainstay is located at 5753 N Main Street in Rock Hall, Maryland. Its regular calendar of local, regional, and nationally touring artists features a live performance every week of the year (February through December) in a variety of music genres.
The programs of the Mainstay are supported with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Kent Cultural Alliance.