“Gypsy Jazz” Bridges Social Classes

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By: Ali Ruscitto

There are many different local bands around Athens, Ohio to check out, but how many do you know play “Gypsy Jazz” and Swing music?

Actually, the “Gypsy Jazz” genre has grown, changed and even adapted from one social and physical location to the next. The genre began in Paris almost a hundred years ago, but since then has expanded to a variety of different areas. Each music group putting their own twist on it, of course.

Coolville Hotclub member, Art Werger, has been playing for nearly ten years, and began listening to “Gypsy Jazz” in the seventies. He noted, “Now there are Hot Clubs in every city in the country. There’s the Hot Club of Detroit and the Hot Club of San Francisco. Thousands of Hot Clubs now just really indebted to this music.”

The Coolville Hotclub played a free event at a local bar and restaurant called, Casa Nueva Cantina. They were even joined by some friends of another local jazz band, Word of Mouth, known for playing Jazz Night at another local bar, Tony’s Tavern.

“It’s just a real good time music,” Werger says. “Jazz originally was not a high brow music. It was dance music. Since then, its come much to take on a lot more respect over the years.”

Athens resident and lover of jazz music, Joe Corrigan says, “Over time it just became more of a higher class thing, but still had the lower class roots. You kinda gotta look at the way the music grew throughout the times.”

In regard to people as a whole, regardless of who they are, while listening to this style of music, Corrigan also says, “It’s so easy to tell the talent that these musicians have and I think anybody can just sit there and enjoy it, and just watch them jam.”