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Tingly, Spicy Gypsy Jazz Gig Features Debut at Central Oregon Coast's Newport

Published 02/08/23 at 8:19 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tingly, Spicy Gypsy Jazz Gig Features Debut at Central Oregon Coast's Newport

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(Newport, Oregon) – When you hear the phrase Hot Club of Beachtown and that it's a band, you may initially think some kind of Jimmy Buffet thing, or perhaps a disco rig of some sort that regularly plays cruise ships.

You'd have the light and airy part right: this is Gypsy Jazz. That care-free, joyous sound with hints of the melancholy, Paris-born and where slinky and sexy are interwoven with the bouncy upbeats of each energized measure. From the heady streets of Paris in the '20s to the sands of Newport, Hot Club of Beachtown is a homegrown outfit, straight from the central Oregon coast.

It's here they make their debut. Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents Lincoln County’s own Gypsy Jazz quartet in concert at the Newport Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 17th at 7:30 pm.

That lovely, soaring violin and frenetic pace is known as Gypsy Jazz, which was originally popularized by Jean "Django" Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, or so it's believed. There was an original Hot Club, historically. It was formed by a handful of Parisians in the early '30s – a tremendously creative time and place – with the inaugural concert kicking off inside of a small secret record store. Since then, these intoxicating melodies and hypnotic rhythms have spread around the world and new “Hot Clubs” continue to pop into existence.

One of them is on the central Oregon coast, in Lincoln County, called Hot Club of Beachtown. Jim Kuoni, David Jones, Don Nelson, and David Ousele formed the quartet about a year and a half ago. If you add up all their experience, between them they're a band with over a century of performing, in a genre that seems to be on quite the upswing.

Revivals are big and passionate now, like the music, this central Oregon coast rig is gleaming example. They all come from backgrounds in styles such as jazz, swing, rock, bluegrass, country, and even classical music.

Originally a collaboration between guitarist and vocalist Kuoni and violinist Ousele, the ensemble achieved a much fuller, richer sound with the addition of Nelson on bass, and Jones (who is a founding member of local Jazz band Past Forward) on guitar and vocals. Together, they perform everything from swing-era jazz standards, to Gypsy Jazz classics such as Minor Swing and Nuages, to modern swing compostions like Elena's Bossa…and even a few novelty numbers.

Audiences are invited to enjoy a toe-tapping concert in the intimate David Ogden Stiers Studio Theatre at Newport Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 17th at 7:30pm. Seating is limited. General admission tickets are $18 when purchased by phone or at the Newport Performing Arts Center Box Office (777 W. Olive Street, Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm). Tickets are also available online (additional fee applies). To learn more, visit www.coastarts.org/events/hot-club MORE ON THIS VENUE AND NEWPORT BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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