When gypsy jazz sashays through Langley next week, it certainly won’t be the first time. Since the debut of DjangoFest Northwest on Whidbey Island 19 years ago, it has blossomed into the premier annual gypsy jazz showcase of North America.
Spellbinding gypsy jazz performances are the stuff of legends among music lovers, but an equally enticing part of the five-day event is a chance to learn from the masters themselves in eclectic workshops open to the public.
A total of 19 workshops hold sway over musicians who come from across the globe to unlock the subtle secrets of subgenres such as gypsy swing, Dutch-style rhythm guitar, French gypsy, cabaret guitar, minor swing and hot club jazz. Following are some highlights of the hands-on learning opportunities, which also have a new twist for the more casual music aficionado.