Arts & Entertainment

Hot Club of San Francisco brings gypsy jazz to Pasco

Hot Club of San Francisco will bring its versatile sound to the Tri-Cities on March 16 that is sure to jazz up the gypsy side of your life for a while.

The group was inspired by one of the greatest guitar players in history, Django Reinhardt and his Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

Reinhardt's music had a global influence since the early part of the last century. Hot Clubs have turned up in Norway, Tokyo, New York and other corners of the world during the past 80 years.

The San Francisco boys are Clint Baker, Jason Vanderford, Evan Price, Jeff Magidson and the leader of the pack, Paul Mehling.

Mehling has earned a reputation in the music industry as "the godfather of American gypsy jazz." Mehling says on the band's website that he first heard Reinhardt's gypsy sound while in grade school, but it wasn't until a few decades passed that the sexy sound took root and turned him toward a music career.

He grew up listening to his dad's collection of big band records, featuring the music of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.

"To this day, I get a sense of deja vu whenever I hear a song I heard back then," Mehling said. "When I was older, I became a discipline problem because I wanted to stay up all night and listen to records. Being exposed to swing at an early age predisposed me to playing this kind of music."

But then his sister distracted him from swing with rock 'n' roll. But the heavier sound didn't rock his musical soul until he discovered the music of Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks band, which was a blend of the Beatles and Django music.

And the rest, as they say, is history

The Hot Club of San Francisco concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at Faith Assembly Auditorium in Pasco. Admission is by season ticket to the Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities.

Individual tickets are $20 for adults or $10 for students and $55 for families. Tickets are online at http://rconcert.home.att.net or call 547-6243.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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