Tagged gypsy swing

Silent Movies & Live Gypsy Swing at SMPAC in November

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center is proud to present The Hot Club of San Francisco: Cinema Vivant, on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. Cinema Vivant celebrates the imagination and innovation of the 1920’s and 30’s with the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, and three silent movie shorts created by the pioneers of animated filmmaking, Ladislaw Starewicz and Charley Bowers.

“With Cinema Vivant, we want audience members to feel as if they are transported back to the French countryside of the 1930’s, where gypsy caravans would set up camps outside of town and lure locals out for an evening of music and silent movies, which flickered to life on the side of a barn,” says Rachel Sorce, Executive Director. “It was magical for audiences of the time, because the musicians would play guitars and fiddles, matching every movement on the screen and creating live soundtracks to the silent movies, which had never been seen or heard before.”

The Hot Club of San Francisco is an ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians performing the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Quintette du Hot Club de France. Called gypsy jazz, the swinging, bouncy beat has entranced audiences for decades. The ensemble borrows the all-string instrumentation of violin, bass, and guitars from the original Hot Club, but breathes new life into the music with innovation arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group’s superb lead guitarist, Paul Mehling. Acoustic Guitar hailed Hot Club of San Francisco’s sound as, “intricate, scorching and often brilliant.”

In Cinema Vivant, three short films are projected during the show. Two are by a European pioneer of stopaction animation, Ladislaw Starewicz, including The Cameraman’s Revenge, and The Mascot. A third film, There It Is, is by American Charley Bowers, who helped revolutionize the industry in the 1920s by combining animation with live action.

On Sat., Nov. 21 from 1-2 pm, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center will host a Gypsy Swing Guitar Masterclass for all ages by instructor and HCSF founder Paul Mehling. Cost is included in the price of a midlevel ticket to the evening performance. Pre-registration is required by calling 414-766-5049.

Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-45 for adults, with discounts for seniors and students. For tickets, visit www.southmilwaukeepac.org or call (414) 766-5049.