The Hot Club of San Francisco will swing into Findlay to heat up the Christmas season with “Cool Yule” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets are $27 and available at the Marathon Center’s box office, 200 W. Main Cross St., at www.marathoncenterarts.org, or by calling 419-423-2787. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour prior to the performance.
“Cool Yule” is described by the Marathon Center as “a swinging gypsy wagon trip to the North Pole” featuring many holiday favorites and some rarer seasonal standards.
The group is led by Paul Mehling, who has been dubbed the godfather of American gypsy jazz.
According to the group’s website, Mehling was largely inspired by Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.
Reinhardt, a renowned Belgian-born Romani guitarist and bandleader who emerged from France and had his career take off in the 1930s, revolutionized the guitar with the unique solo style he developed after injuring two of his fingers in a fire.
Mehling was a fan of rock and roll groups like the Beatles, but preferred to play acoustic guitar, though classical music didn’t scratch his musical itch, either.
“Then I heard Django,” Mehling said. “Three guitars, bass, and violin and they sounded and acted like a rock band.”
Hot Club of San Francisco’s first album was produced by Mehling and put out on the band’s own label. Since then, they’ve put out nine more albums of gypsy-flavored jazz.
In 2000, The Hot Club of San Francisco was the first American band invited to play the Festival de Jazz Django Reinhardt in Samois-Sur-Seine, ground zero for the current Django revival.
The group’s current lineup features Isabelle Fontaine on vocals and guitar; Evan Price on violin; Jordan Samuels on guitar; and Sam Rocha on bass.
For more information, visit www.hotclubsf.com.