new mexico django festival
Gypsy Jazzers Take Over Albuquerque
Producer John Sandlin gives us the lowdown on the low-down sounds of his Django Festival
The New Mexico Django Festival returns to Albuquerque in its fourth, nearly annual edition after a layoff in 2009 in deference to the imploded economy. Producer John Sandlin, perhaps best known hereabouts as the rakishly handsome, devilishly talented guitarist for Le Chat Lunatique, has once again put together a stellar lineup, including up-and-coming international acts as well as local favorites like Zoltan Orkestar, The Hot Club of Santa Fe and Django Rhythm Meat Grinder. For four days, they’ll all pay homage to the Belgian whiz-kid guitarist Django Reinhardt, who put a unique gypsy spin on swing.
Le Chat Lunatique vocalist and violinist Muni Kulasing has never heard most of these songs
Muni Kulasinghe is the talented vocalist and violinist for Le Chat Lunatique. He’s also a friendly, multilingual gentleman who’s always armed with a smile, a wink and maybe a dirty joke. This weekend his gypsy jazz band plays local host to the New Mexico Django Festival. In honor of the event, Kulasinghe was asked to provide shuffled tracks from his music library. “I don’t have an MP3 player, nor an iPod; only my computer, which means the music I happened upon is not necessarily music I have listened to much, if ever,” he explains. “As it turned out, I was wholly unprepared for what spouted forth.”