While his most notable achievements have been with the Rosenberg Trio, comprised of Stochelo and his two cousins Nous’che and Nonnie, this August he is bringing a brand new trio with him to the Adelaide International Guitar Festival.
The God-like legacy of Django Reinhardt casts a shadow on the world of Gypsy jazz as long as some of his guitar solos. But if the French-born virtuoso is the first name in gypsy jazz, Stochelo Rosenberg runs a pretty close second. Since first picking up a guitar at the age of 10 – a rather late start in the guitar-obsessed Rosenberg family – his impact on the Gypsy jazz community has been inescapable. While his most notable achievements have been with the Rosenberg Trio, comprised of Stochelo and his two cousins Nous’che and Nonnie, this August he is bringing a brand new trio with him to the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. Unsurprisingly, they will be guided by the music and style of Django Reinhardt. “Sebastien Giniaux is the guitar player that I bring to Australia,” Rosenberg says. “He’s a good friend to me; I’ve known him now for 10 years, maybe more. The good thing about Sebastien is that he has not only the gypsy jazz influence, but also the Balkan influence. So he can make a combination of two styles and he can bring them together. So at our concert you will hear some Django in it, but also the Balkan music in it. “The bass player is Joel Locher. He is also my friend for a number of years. The good thing about Joel is he loves modern jazz, but he can also play fantastic, old school music from Django Reinhardt. “The difference between the original trio and this one is I have more possibility to share some bass solos and share some solos with the rhythm guitar,” Rosenberg explains. “In the original trio the rhythm section is only rhythm section – no bass solos or anything. I play everything. But with this new trio it’s more open. I can breathe more. I can play double solos with Sebastien Giniaux and I can play also solos with the bass player [Joel Locher]. And I don’t have that with the original Rosenberg Trio.” Improvisation and creativity are two defining characteristics of Gypsy jazz, so it’s only natural that Rosenberg would want to branch out and try something new. Once again, he is simply following in the footsteps of his idol. “When you go back and you see how Gypsy jazz started, it was Django Reinhardt. In the ‘40s and ‘50s it was jazz, but Django was a gypsy and he brought a new style of jazz that was specially for the Americans, like Duke Ellington, who was a good friend of Django’s. So the Americans were amazed and they respected Django so much because he didn’t copy the American jazz but he brought his own style. Now the people say, ‘Okay, he was a Gypsy, so we call it now Gypsy jazz’. “So in my case, I started with Django Reinhardt of course, but I listen to many kinds of music. I love to play with guitarists who don’t play in the gypsy style because when you mix the music together you get a different style. For example, I had a tour with Tommy Emmanuel and we mixed the Gypsy style with his style and it’s a beautiful combination.” The Stochelo Rosenberg Trio Adelaide International Guitar Festival Festival Theatre Sunday, July 20