The joy of Djug Django

Having made a dazzling debut last November at McNamara's Pub, the Ithaca septet Djug Django returns to Camillus from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, for another afternoon of Gypsy swing hosted by the Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse

The band's six "core members" - violinist Eric Aceto, guitarists Harry Aceto, Dave Davies and Doug Robinson, clarinetist Brian Earle and washtub bassist Jim Sherpa - will welcome guest trumpeter Frank Campos to add some brass to their string-oriented sound.

Campos, who teaches music at Ithaca College, will be featured on numbers such as "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" and "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"

"Don't let the name of this group throw you for a loop," advised JASS Vice President Burt Dunlap. "This is not some rock band or bebop sextet. This is a group that really can only be described as one of the swingingest bands that we've ever had here."

Djug Django specializes in the music of Gypsy guitarist Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt (1910-1953), who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France which also featured fiddler Stephane Grappelli, in Paris in 1934. Django's genius bloomed in that band's blend of New Orleans jazz, French waltzes and Romani dance tunes.

"As always, the Djug Django band is a continual work-in-progress," said bandleader Doug Robinson. "We've recently added difficult new tunes like 'Have You Met Miss Jones?' and Django Reinhardt's 'Menilmontant' and others on the books."

In reviewing the band's 2009 performance here, Syracuse cornetist Pat Carroll praised the group as a "one of the best bands that has ever played for JASS."

Carroll was especially impressed with the combo's "rock steady rhythm" featuring guitarists Doug Robinson, Harry Aceto and Dave Davies (who doubles on trombone) and Syracuse native Jim Sherpa on washtub bass. The bassist's father, longtime Camillus resident Joe Sherpa, is a drummer who performed with the Mario DeSantis Orchestra.

The Nov. 7 Djug Django concert will be staged at McNamara's Pub, 5600 Newport Road, in Camillus. Admission is $10 for JASS members, $12 for others; 652-0547.

For band info, visit watershed-arts.com/djug.html.

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