Last weekend, Localists were treated to a unique experience at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), the world's only global musical instrument museum. Front row seats were reserved just for Localists for a special performance from local gypsy jazz band ZAZU. The band was made up of four members: a rhythm guitar, a lead guitar, upright bass, and a violinist.
ZAZU referred frequently to Django Reinhart, credited with creating the style of gypsy jazz guitar playing, during their performance and played songs written by him. One of the songs they played was Minor Swing, which has become a gypsy jazz standard:
Localists were also treated to a private meet and greet with members of the band following the show. Getting the chance to listen to live gypsy jazz is quite rare, explained Steve who plays the upright bass, as there aren't many groups out there playing this kind of music. It was interesting to learn that all of the musicians in the band were trained in the classical style, but all were eager for any opportunity to play in the gypsy jazz style which focuses more on swing rhythms and improvisation. We also learned about an instrument that Allen Ames created called the "violyra," which is a 6-string violin that includes a viola and cello string. It is an entirely new sound that is enchanting to listen to! ZAZU also announced they'll be recording a live album at local jazz venue The Nash this October.
Following the performance, Localists had the opportunity to explore the many exhibits of the MIM. Some of our Localists made a beeline for the Arizona exhibit that featured the history of Arizona's local musicians, record labels, recording studios, and famed Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. Localists could also show their Localist card at the cafe and gift store for a 10% discount on purchases.
If you're not yet a Localist and interested in these kinds of unique experiences, you can sign up today! For just $20 per year, you'll receive invitations to exclusively curated events like this one, as well as other opportunities and specials from local businesses across the state. Don't miss our next Localist events, a Whiskey Del Bac tasting in Tucson and Party in the Pines in Flagstaff!