The Hot Club of Philadelphia was started at the end of 2001 by guitarist Barry Wahrhaftig, and violinist Mark Campiglia. We are an acoustic jazz quartet, dedicated to playing and preserving the music of Django Reinhardt Django, adding our own style to the process.
The quartet includes Jim Stager on acoustic bass and rhythm guitar by Joe Ellis and/or Rich Yescalis. Barry plays a Manouche Modele Jazz, 14 fret oval hole guitar. Manouche Guitars are built from the plans of the original Selmer guitars built in France in the 1930’s. The picture of the band above was taken at a performance by the HCPhilly at the World Cafe Live, Feb 8, 2008 in Phila. The Clarinet player is Bob Butryn. In addition to playing great clarinet and sax, Bob
is a terrific swing dancer. He also teaches and performs swing dance. Click here to view his website.
We perform with other special guest artists from time to time, including an amazing vocalist named Phyllis Chapell,
Latin percussionist Donna Bostock, and drummer/filmmaker George Manney.
'There's an almost universal appeal for Django's music. It's honest, and from the heart. No studio enhancements, just Hot Swing, played 'Sweet & Lowdown! Come see us live, and please check out our video[s]
Check out these other fine groups that are inspired by Django Reinhardt:
Club of NYC
of San Francisco
Barry Wahrhaftig, the lead guitarist of the HCPhilly now has a blog, www.GypsyJazzGuitarOnline.com with Gypsy Jazz Guitar lessons, transcriptions, interviews etc.
The Hot Club of Philadelphia, along with vocalist Phyllis Chapell performed at Philadelphia's first 'Diner en Blanc, in Aug 2011. The event was covered by WHYY Friday Arts, here's a link for the podcast; http://www.whyy.org/tv12/fridayarts/artoffood.html
The HCPhilly led by Barry Wahrhaftig has been doing workshops and jam sessions at Rollers Restaurant in Chestnut Hill, end us a note if you want more info. Paul is a big supporter of the HCPhilly, and the food and imported beer selection at his place is top shelf. http://www.rollersrestaurants.com/
|VENUES THAT WE ARE OFTEN PERFORMING AT|
http://www.themermaidinn.net/home.html - The Mermaid Inn, located at 7673 Winston Rd, corner of Germantown Ave and Mermaid Lane, Chestnut Hill.
CD cover designed by www.JackJamesonDesign.net
Check out our New CD
Or mail a check for $16 to:
403-A West Ave
Jenkintown PA 19046
Make the check out to "Hot Club Philly"
Listen to the songs NOW, click here.
Buy 'Bistro Fada'
Here is what Jazz Inside Magazine has to say
WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS –
Jazz Manouch 1909. Song
d’Automne; Exactly Like You; La Gitane; Someone to
Watch Over Me; Tchavolo Swing; Nuages; Nature Boy;
You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To; Chez Jacquet;
Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; While We’re Young
PERSONNEL: Joe Ellis, guitar; Bob Butryn, clarinet;
Jim Stager, bass; Barry Wahrhaftig, guitar; Joe
Arnold, violin; John Matulis, accordion, Howard
Alden, guitar; Denise King, vocals; Alex Siniavski,
guitar; Mark Campiglia, violin; Phyllis Chapell, vocals;
Rick Yescalis, guitar; Carlos Rubio, flamenco
guitar; Bob Butryn, flute; George Manney, conga;
Stan Slotter, trumpet; Dave Cianci, trombone
By Herbie Y. Gamura
The Hot Club of Philadelphia was founded in
2001 by guitarist Barry Wahrhaftig and violinist
Mark Campiglia. Joining them are acoustic bassist
Jim Stager and rhythm guitarist Barry Wahrhaftig, as
well as plenty of special guests, including the legendary
Howard Alden on seven string guitar. This Gypsy
Jazz outfit is dedicated to “playing and preserving the
music of Django Reinhardt while adding their own
style in the process.”
One is immediately struck by the easy, but
deep swing that comes out of Bob Butryn’s clarinet
(he’ also a swing dancer!) on the medium-tempo
first track, “Song d’Automme.” One can’t help but
be taken by the way these players make so much out
of so little. Two Rhythm guitars and a bass keep the
time and groove with some simple but well crafted
changes in a minor key, as the improvisers outline
them with the most essential notes, while making
beautiful and singable melodies for the listener to
relate too at all times.
Throughout the CD, new players come and go,
such as Accordion player John Matulis for the track
“La Gitane,” giving it a unique texture. This song is
in a triple meter, as the bassist plays on one and the
guitars on two and three, giving it a waltz vibe. I can
easily visualize a dance floor in France with numerous
couples brimming with life. Barry Wahrhaftig
shows that he is no Django clone on this track. His
right hand has a completely different approach.
Undoubtedly one of the big highlights of this
disc is “Someone to Watch Over Me,” sung by Denise
King. She infuses plenty of personal experience in her
rendering, as the song builds gradually. It begins as a
duet, with the beautiful solo guitar work of Howard
Alden, before the bass joins, and then the lead guitar
“Nuages” is another nice interpretation, featuring
vocalist Phyllis Chapell. Wahrhaftig takes a particularly
memorable guitar solo on this track, departing
from the classic gypsy vocabulary with some very
unique lines, and plenty of emotion. The listener will
be happy to hear Bob Butryn return for a gorgeous
“Nature Boy” will also be a pleasant surprise to
the listener with its Latin vibe, complete with flute,
conga, and Flamenco guitar from Carlos Rubio.
Wahrhaftig trades solos with Rubio and it a treat to
hear two different styles playing together on the same
song. Denise King joins the group for the head out.
And then another surprise – Electric guitar
and horns! For the penultimate tune, “Wrap Your
Troubles in Dreams,” the band renders it with a classic
swing with arranged parts for trombone, trumpet
and clarinet, and a swinging drum groove with the
hi-hat on two and four behind Denise King’s vocals.
We go from the Hot Club to Preservation Hall, and
it is a nice departure before returning for the closer,
“While We’re Young.”
The Hot Club of Philadelphia may be dedicated
to playing the music of Django Reinhardt, but as advertised,
they add their own voices and mentalities into
the mix, and often infuse Latin and more traditional
swing styles into the mix. All of the members have impeccable
chops and unwavering musicality. If you’re in
the Philadelphia area, be sure to seek them out.