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Django Reinhardt Festival 2017

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The 38th Django Reinhardt Festival comes to us from the outstanding open-air setting at Fontainebleau and not anymore right in Django’s backyard from July 6 to 9, 2017. Opening of the festival on July 1 at Samois.

It is an evening of 1953, sitting on a bench facing the river, on the banks of Samois-sur-Seine, Django has left this earth, a victim of an illness caused by a long walk and a sun too bright. He had adopted the village of Seine-et-Marne and the hostel Fernand Loisy ("Chez Fernand") where he became the friend lived in a small house near the Seine and playing billiards at the Cafe de la Place village ... Since it is based, with part of his family, the last party prematurely, our friend Babik, in the cemetery where his grave is Samois always flowers. In spring 1968, the Association of Friends Samois decided to pay a solemn tribute to the guitarist internationally recognized as a genius who would become the master of gypsy jazz, combining tradition and modernity. A sumptuous platter artist was echoing the sounds of strings and brass in the beautiful "Island of the Cradle. " This tribute was to be repeated every 5 years until 1978. Then, a Django Reinhardt Festival Association had been created, the event became annual, and "Guitar in human voice, which, according to Cocteau, was extinguished, but never forgotten, began to revive.

For 48 years, the biggest jazz artists from all gypsy styles came to play on « l’île du Berceau ». Samois became a myth for all musicians who gathered here to pay tribute to the biggest jazz guitarist buried in Samois.

The island is under water due to a flood almost as high as the one of 1910. On June 4th last year, Samois’Mayor took the decision to forbid the access of the island. We only had 18 days to find a new place for the festival and obtain official authorisations. Frederic Valletoux, the mayor of Fontainebleau (at 4 kilometers of samois) and Jean-François Hebert, the president of the castle of Fontainebleau, offered to host the 37th edition of the festival. 200 volunteers worked hard to make it possible to open the festival on time. The festival was saved in spite of a small financial deficit.

Security standards for open air events were reinforced after several dramatic events that happened in our country those last two years. According to the authorities (firefighters, police), the island is a site at risk : it is very narrow, the evacuation lanes are insufficients, emergency exits are lacking, the bridge available cannot support heavy trucks, the risk of drowning needs to be taken into account too, as we are on an island. This year again, the festival will be host in Fontainebleau. It is a chance for the festival to be welcomed on a such prestigious place at only 4 km of Samois.

Saturday July 1st : Opening of the festival in Samois. Concerts on the village square with concerts from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
July 6th to 9th : 4 days of musicin the parc of Fontainebleau castle, 2 stages with one dedicated to gypsy jazz, an instrument’s makers village

The place is just next to the city center and the castle. Gypsy Jazz will still be the identity of the festival.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:49

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