One of the joys of autumn in New York for the past eleven seasons has been the annual Django Reinhardt NY Festival, produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta at Birdland. The week-long, always sold-out festival, pays tribute to the legendary gypsy jazz guitartist, who passed away in 1953. Since the inception of the Fetstival, the Schmitt family of Strausbourg, France, has been its centerpiece, playing Django’s music with American jazz giants.
I attended the Festival on November 5 this year, as the great reed player, Anat Cohen, was the guest artist, along with Dorado Schmitt and his two sons, Samson and 14-year old Amati, who was making his debut at the Festival.
These photos capture some of the joy of the evening. The music, you’ll have to hear for yourself. For more, check out the festival’s website.