Inspired by European travels, gypsy jazz will bring the popular Friday Night Live concert series to a close for the season.
Hot Club of Tucson will perform on Friday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. The outdoor courtyard of Geronimo Plaza at Main Gate Square, 820 E. University Blvd., has staged the series, presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance to deliver free concerts in all styles of jazz.
The band includes Matt Mitchell on guitar, Evan Dain on upright bass and Nick Coventry on violin.
Coventry started playing violin at an early age and, after hearing a Stephane Grappelli tape at the age of 12, he began in earnest to learn the swinging style of gypsy jazz violin. At age 18, he studied classically at the University of California Santa Barbara, and at 20, he started his first gypsy swing band “Les Gendarmes du Swing” and began writing and performing around his hometown of Goleta, Calif.
In 2005, he travelled to the famous Djangofest at Samois-sur-Seine, France to meet and play with the best European musicians of gypsy jazz. This resulted in a series of tours around Spain, England, Scotland and Denmark with the Hot Club of Galicia. At home, Coventry has performed at the Djangofest in San Francisco with Gonzalo Bergara, as a guest with the John Jorgenson Quintet, Stephane Wrembel trio in New York and with Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan at Chicago’s Green Mill.
Friday Night Live!
“People come to Geronimo Plaza and discover Main Gate is a great place in a lively atmosphere,” said Jane McCollum, Main Gate Square general manager.
All ages can enjoy the live entertainment under the stars at Main Gate Square with pedestrian-friendly dining and shopping. Main Gate Square, between Park and Euclid Avenues on University Boulevard, features more than 20 retailers and 30 restaurants near the University of Arizona. Main Gate merchants validate parking for the Tyndall Garage Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight.
“Prior to the concert people should experience all the different flavors of food we have here,” McCollum said, either dining in the restaurants before or after the shows or grabbing food to go and eating during the performance.
“There’s always something going on at Main Gate,” McCollum said. “The concerts will be a showcase of Tucson’s local performers and good music.”