The legendary jazz guitarist makes a stop in Asheville!
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He has been called “a revelation” by Rolling Stone. Woody Allen recruited him to score the theme for last year’s smash film Midnight in Paris, and he performed the irresistibly catchy original song live during the 2012 Academy Awards. He has headlined at Lincoln Center, played major festivals, recorded with mandolin legend David Grisman, toured with master violinist Mark O’Connor and shared stages with everyone from Elvis Costello to Patti Smith to The Roots. The Gitane guitar company has even named a model after him. To say that Stephane Wrembel—who learned his craft among the Gypsies at campsites in the French countryside—has already had a remarkable career would be an understatement. But this virtuoso guitarist from France has truly just begun to make his mark as one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music.
This May, Wrembel delivers Origins, his fifth album, recorded outside of New York City, where he has lived for nearly 10 years. Presciently titled, the album, which Wrembel recorded with his band—bassist Dave Speranza, rhythm guitarist Roy Williams, drummer Nick Anderson and percussionist David Langlois—finds the multi-faceted musician corralling a myriad of influences into a hybrid that simultaneously reflects where he has been, and points to where he has headed. Although he built his reputation as a stylist in the mode of the iconic French Sinti guitarist Django Reinhardt, Wrembel now revels in transcending and expanding. “I’m digging deeper and deeper into my roots,” he says about the album. But for these latest sessions, “I didn’t calculate anything. I just put down whatever came to me without thinking of this direction or that direction. I just said, ‘This is one song and this is another song.’ It brings to life all of the possibilities of the band.”
Born in Paris and raised in Fontainebleau, home of impressionism and Django Reinhardt’s music. Wrembel was classically trained in a music conservatory starting at age four.
Stephane’s life took a decisive turn in his late teens when he first discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and the Gypsies. He spent the next ten years of his life learning, playing, and expanding on this musical tradition.
This hard work gave Wrembel the technique, but the time spent playing around the campfires and trailers of the Gypsies gavehim the soul – both necessary ingredients for him to master his art form. Stephane’s education continued at the Berklee School of Music where after studying contemporary jazz and world music he graduated summa cum-laude. Soon after he moved to New York City to live and continue his career.
Like New York, Stephane is always in motion, always searching and never stopping in his quest for a new sound…