The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcomes Seattle's favorite gypsy jazz band Pearl Django for two nights. Band members are Tim Lerch (guitar), Rick Leppanen (bass), Michael Gray (violin), Jim Char (guitar), and David Lange (accordion). Show times Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6pm each night.
With a performance history spanning 25 years and over 110 shows at Jazz Alley, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli, its extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions. Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The band’s signature style is marked by pristine and dexterous string work, colors of Bal Musette, the steady pulse of rhythm guitar and an unmistakable swing that delights audiences of all musical sensibilities. Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform.
The group’s inception was as a trio in Tacoma, Washington in 1994. The focus of Pearl Django was, and is, to incorporate the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with American swing music. They quickly expanded to a quintet, adding a violinist and a third guitarist. An interview on NPR’s All Things Considered in 2001 brought the group to national attention. In June 2002, Pearl Django performed at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine, just outside of Paris, France. As of 2007 Pearl Django is working as both a quartet and a quintet (with accordionist, David Lange) All of the members are contributing original compositions to the band’s expansive repertoire. They have released 14 CDs to date. Their latest disc is Pearl Django Live, recorded at Orcas Island center for the Arts.