Django Reinhardt Birthday Celebration

Jan. 20-22, 2023

Django Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953) was a Manouche (French Roma) child-prodigy who became a master musician at a very early age, possibly the first guitar virtuoso in jazz. Coming from an extremely musical family, he was surrounded, influenced and taught by some amazingly gifted and highly-respected musicians. Mostly known for his guitar virtuosity, he is also regarded as the originator of the musical genre Jazz Manouche, where the guitar is front and center (in contrast to most other kinds of jazz of his time where brass instruments were usually playing the melodies and solos). Reinhardt created the Hot Club de France Quintet, with a format still used in the genre with all acoustic stringed instruments.

Join The Freight to celebrate the life and music of Django Reinhardt with three days of shows and workshops. Festival Artistic Director Paul Mehling and The Freight’s Artistic Director Peter Williams have assembled an all-star, international lineup of musicians. All shows, workshops & the film screening take place at Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.


All shows take place at Freight & Salvage in the Littlefield Room, our state of the art listening room
Three Day Passes available for $100 (plus fees, advance purchase only).


Rhythm Future Quartet
Hot Club of San Francisco
Tatiana Eva-Marie – “Djangology”


12:45 PM: Screening: Les Fils Du Vent

$7 adv / $10 at the door (plus fees)
NOTE: The screening is free to pass- and ticket-holders, call the box office at (510) 644-2020

or use this link to reserve your free screening ticket.


Stephane Wrembel
Mimi Fox Quartet/À Django Avec Amour
Duo Gadjo


Hot Club of Cowtown
Trio Dinicu
Hot Club of San Francisco


Intro to Swing Violin
with Jason Anick
Sat, Jan 21 11
am – 12 pm

For this workshop, violinist extraordinaire Jason Anick will examine a standard swing tune and various classic licks and phrases to help you start improvising over that tune. Phrases will be taught by ear but will be supplemented with sheet music. He’ll also cover various stylistic approaches (vibrato, bowing, etc.) to help you get that authentic swing sound achieved by jazz violin greats like Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti.

The Art of Django Reinhardt’s Guitar Style
with Stephane Wrembel
Sat, Jan 21 11
am – 12 pm

This workshop is a study of Django Reinhardt’s technique, his harmonic concepts and his specific rhythms and shaping of melodies. Guitarists of all skill levels are welcome, bring your instruments!

A Singer’s Approach to Jazz Manouche
with Isabelle Fontaine
Sat, Jan 21 2:45-3:45 pm

Isabelle Fontaine was born and raised in the French countryside with the voices of Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, and Yves Montand ringing in her ears. In 2004 she moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area and has since become sought after not only for her singing but for her rhythm guitar playing as well.

Django Style Techniques and Finding Your Own Ideas
(instead of sounding like everyone else!) with Paul Mehling
Sun, Jan 22 11
am-12 pm

Are you tired of being told what to play (i.e. licks, tricks, patterns, cliches)? Would you rather get to the heart of the sound that you’re in love with? Paul Mehling has been playing, studying and teaching jazz manouche guitar for over 30 yrs. His “no student left behind” approach to teaching has been lauded from coast to coast. Bring your guitar, your questions and your recording device–this workshop promises to provide something for everyone in attendance. 

Violin Jazz: Techniques, Ideas, Swing, Developing Your Own Style and More
with Evan Price
Sun, Jan 22 11 am-12 pm

In this workshop, acclaimed violinist Evan Price will help students find ways of developing a voice of their own as a jazz violinist. He’ll also delve into the nuances of swing, and talk about techniques that make the instrument sound right at home in a jazz setting. 

Straight Ahead Jazz Guitar for Django Style Players
with Mimi Fox 
Sun, Jan 22
12:30-1:30 pm

This workshop is an opportunity for intermediate/advanced guitarists to augment your playing by exploring rhythms, melodic concepts, chord substitution, soloing ideas, and more that stem from the straight ahead jazz world! Bebop, Swing, Samba and other styles will be covered, as well as songs from the Great American Songbook. 

Swing Jam w/ Olivier Zyngier
Sun, Jan 22 1-3 pm

We are excited to bring back one of our most popular offerings: our community-building jams!  We are now offering a different jam each Sunday, led by experienced jam leaders in their chosen genre. 

Creating a Great Ensemble Sound and More
with the Hot Club of Cowtown
Sun, Jan 22 3-4 pm

This workshop—led by all three members of the Hot Club of Cowtown–will focus on the magical interplay a string trio can use to bring hot jazz and swing tunes to life.

Together, the band will focus on the role of each instrument—guitar, violin, and upright bass—in playing early hot jazz & swing music in a string trio format. 

The Freight has decided to refer to the genre as Jazz Manouche for our festival.

Here at the Freight & Salvage we are very aware of the problematic aspects of the term “Gypsy jazz”. We engaged the ethnomusicologist Dr. Siv B. Lie to help us with this statement:

“’Gypsy jazz’ is the English-language term for a genre of music based on the work of guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910-1953). Reinhardt belonged to the Manouche subgroup of Romanies, a group of people who have ancestral roots in India and who are most populous in Europe. While there are many people of Romani background who proudly call themselves Gypsies, the term “Gypsy” can also have racist connotations. It was a label imposed upon Romanies centuries ago and is often associated with stereotypes such as criminality and poverty. The term “Gypsy jazz” can thus be contentious, even among the genre’s participants. In France, where this music developed most robustly, it is known as “jazz manouche,” which more accurately reflects Reinhardt’s Manouche background as well as the Manouche musicians who developed the genre starting in the 1970s.” – Dr. Siv B. Lie, author of Django Generations