Legendary guitarist Hank Marvin, in collaboration with accordionist Nunzio Mondia and guitarist Gary Taylor, takes a journey into the world of Gypsy Swing exploring the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli.
Here we go everyone, what you have been waiting for. We have another concert with Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz scheduled in March 2019. This will take place at the sensational Drakesbrook Fine Wines Winery, Waroona March 2nd and 3rd 2019 in Western Australia. This will be a wonderful event, a full Gypsy Jazz Festival featuring many international artists.
Music is powerful, it is a universal language that crosses all type of barriers. Every culture celebrates life with music. One of the best ways to express yourself is to make your own music. There is something so empowering about picking up a guitar and getting off a few chords whether alone or with band mates. Purchasing your first guitar can change your life! Learning to play the guitar will free you to truly express yourself. Many people think that the true power of the guitar lies with the electric guitar, but the reality is, the acoustic guitar is where the real power lies.
The Power of Playing the Guitar
If you are looking for an instrument to learn, the guitar is a great choice. There are social reasons, emotional reasons and physical reasons that this is a great instrument to learn:
You can meet new people through music
It will help you to build social confidence
It helps to reduce stress
It is a catalyst for your feelings
It helps with concentration
It improves eye/hand coordination
Learning to play the guitar will open up a whole new world for you. It will help you to get out and meet people, focus on your energy in a positive manner and even help you to improve your hand/eye coordination. It helps to shut out the world and open a world that is uniquely yours. Making music empowers you, it is something that not everyone else can do. It could lead to a career in music. Many musicians got their start on a guitar.
One of the best things about the guitar or any instrument for that matter, is that anyone, of any age can learn how to play. You do not need to know how to read music, but you will learn, you do not have to have any natural talent, all you need is a love of music and the desire to put the work in to learn how to play.
As your skill set grows, and it will with regular practice sessions, your confidence will grow. Even if you are an introvert, you will be able to communicate with your music. There is nothing more appealing than a brooding musician strumming out some music. People will want to get to know you.
Learning how to play an instrument will encourage you to set goals for yourself. You will be able to continuously challenge yourself to get better and better. Even if you cannot read a note today, you will become more affluent in the language of music as time goes by. Every musician at one point did not know how to play an instrument.
Don’t Overlook the Power of the Acoustic Guitar
The power of the acoustic guitar is measurable. This powerful instrument can run the gamut when it comes to musical genres. From rock and roll to classical pieces to the Flamenco to jazz to the blues and more the acoustic guitar can affect the perfect sound. It is the perfect instrument to express yourself. Consider the following attributes of the acoustic guitar:
It is portable- the acoustic guitar is easier to transport than an electric guitar. You do not have to worry about dragging an amp along with you. You can sling your guitar on your back and be ready to go!
It has a rich beautiful sound that is hard to duplicate with an electric guitar. The more your practice the more you will be able to make your guitar speak. While an electric guitar is great for rock and roll and more, it does not touch the soul the way an acoustic can.
It is less distracting. When you are playing an electric guitar there is potentially a lot of distractions. You do not have to deal with amp issues, cables, pedals and more when you choose an acoustic guitar. You get to focus completely on making music instead of worrying about equipment. Learning on an acoustic guitar takes less of your energy and focus away from the music.
It is cost savings. The fact is a good acoustic guitar for a beginner is far cheaper than an entry level electric guitar. You do not have to spend money on amps and accessories. You do not have to worry about the equipment failing and having to be replaced. Of course, every musician goes through the “upgrade bug” but it is especially true when it comes to electric instruments. With an acoustic guitar, you do not have to worry about buying a bigger and better amp and other equipment. You are ready to play for less as soon as your instrument arrives.
Choosing an acoustic guitar may be the best choice you have ever made. Whether you are searching for an instrument for yourself or you are making the purchase for a loved one that you want to turn on to music, you cannot make a better choice than an acoustic guitar.
It is The Place to Start
Learning to play the guitar is simplified with an acoustic model. Tuning, learning, listening all comes easier with this powerful instrument. Learning is simplified. It is just you and your instrument. Overloading yourself with learning the technicalities of an electric guitar is time consuming. Of course, once you learn on the acoustic making the transition to the electric models is easy.
Acoustic guitars come in a range of price points and styles. They can be a very affordable jumping off point for your music journey. An acoustic guitar can easily fit into your budget, they are easy to care for, they provide a range of amazing sounds and they make playing easier. What else can you ask for in an instrument? What are you waiting for? Buy an acoustic guitar today and get on the road to becoming the musician that you were always meant to be.
A Final Word
Do not misconstrue this information to be “against” the electric guitar because we are big fans of the electric guitar. We just want to convey for the beginner it is hard to beat the benefits of an acoustic guitar!
Percussion instruments and jazz are no strangers to one another. Musicians have been adding percussion elements – beyond drum set – to jazz for decades now. This might pose the question of how a percussionist should approach doing this. There are many things to consider here: rhythmic feel, dynamics, orchestration/instrumentation, etc. Keep in mind that for the purposes of this article, we will not be discussing pitched percussion. There is a world of information involving that particular subject and we will not really be discussing the inner-workings of harmony. Here, we will discuss some basic criteria for adding percussion to jazz music, specifically with jazz guitar.
Adding percussion to jazz often results in what’s known as “fusion”. You don’t really hear lots of straight-ahead jazz incorporating percussion, but it’s important to go over it to gain a full understanding. One of the defining characteristics of jazz music is its “swung” feel. This typically refers to the way 8th notes are played and it is crucial to the style. Additionally, accents in the swing style are typically felt on beats 2 and 4. A great way to practice each of these concepts is to take a metronome, set it at a slow tempo where it would basically click on every other beat, and think of each click as beats 2 and 4. On a drum set, this would be marked by the pedal hi-hat. See the diagram below to get an idea of how swung 8th notes are played.
An important thing to note about swinging 8th notes is that when you get to playing faster tempos, the 8th notes tend to straighten out. Players often do this because swinging 8th notes as really fast tempos can sound clunky and, frankly, kind of cheesy.
Have a listen to almost any straight-ahead jazz recording and you will likely notice these things right away. If it’s just you on percussion with a jazz guitarist, you have to keep in mind that you will basically be replacing a drum set, and your goal is try to recreate some of this rhythmic action. If you are playing alongside a set drummer, it is imperative that you two are locked in.
This is really up to the arrangers and performers to decide. The thing about adding percussion to straight ahead jazz, is that it’s almost like a cultural stamp. Percussion instrumentation is often a trait by which many genres are defined. This is why jazz with percussion added to it often falls into the category of fusion. That is not a bad thing by any stretch, but it is definitely something to consider.
For example, as soon as you add congas to something, it almost instantly has a Latin flavor, doesn’t it? That is why it is important to consider the band size, the style, and the feeling you want to give the music.
For playing with a combo that would include another drummer, I think congas work really well. For a duo setup, I tend to prefer bongos with other miscellaneous percussion instruments. Although, I have definitely heard this used successfully with a full band.
This is the key. You have probably heard this before, but it is worth repeating! Listening to other bands use percussion is important to get a feel for how it is best approached; what you like and what you do not like.
Below, I have provided a few examples of what I consider to be top notch jazz/fusion. None of these really fall under the straight-ahead tradition, but all are definitely jazz-based in one way or another. Hopefully, these will give you some good ideas.
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew – This album is often considered the birth of jazz fusion and it contains a who’s who of jazz musicians. Everyone from John McLaughlin to Wayne Shorter and more plays on this recording. Throughout the album, different percussionists are featured such as Airto Moreira, Don Alias, and Juma Santos. You don’t get to hear much of a traditional application here since this album was very experimental, but it’s a great peek into the possibilities of adding percussion to a band. I have always found it amazing how Miles Davis has been at the forefront of every new evolution of jazz over the course of 50 years.
Snarky Puppy – We Like It Here – This is a more modern band with lots of elements from many different genres. In fact, there are so many pieces to this band that I think they would have been remiss if they did NOT have a percussionist. Luckily, that is not the case. The music on this album is very progressive while being incredibly listenable. One particular track gained some serious popularity on YouTube a while back: Lingus. This is a really great composition, but it is also well known for a seriously killing solo by Cory Henry on keys. Once again, this is not a traditional application, but you can hear how elements from jazz permeate all of the music on this album.
Airto Moreira – Free – Of the three examples listed here, this album is probably the closest to traditional jazz. Again, however, it does not fall into the straight-ahead tradition, but borrows several elements from it. This one I find particularly interesting as you can hear influence from different styles, all while maintaining the jazz spirit of improvisation and overall inventiveness. It also does not hurt that players such as Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Keith Jarrett are featured here! In fact, I definitely recommend the tune, “So Tender”, where Keith Jarrett showcases some really brilliant playing.
To conclude, there is definitely a place for percussion instruments in jazz music. It is a bit unusual to find straight-ahead recordings that feature much percussion, but it does happen. It is much more common to hear percussion featured in the fusion side of things as with some of the examples listed above. I hope you found this useful and perhaps even inspiring. Jazz is all about exploration, so dig in and see what comes out!
About the Author
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.
Hank Marvin and his Gypsy Jazz Ensemble played a fantastic rendition of the old Shadows tune Guitar Tango at their final concert in New Zealand 2015. This was performed at the beautiful Maidment Theater at the Auckland University. Steve Hilliar, along with Nunzio Mondia (manager of the group) organized this tour of New Zealand and numerous photos with some video clips were taken and recorded by various people.
Steve Hilliar a long time music enthusiast and photographer set up his Sony A7R2 on a tripod at the side of the stage and recorded this specific clip of Guitar Tango. You can view it here by clicking on this link. STEVE HILLIAR VIDEO
Steve has also photographed other great entertainers such as “The Hollies” “Cliff Richard” “Tommy Emmanuel” along with various well known New Zealand and Australian artists.You can view his entire website by clicking on this link. STEVE HILLIAR PHOTOGRAPHY
We’re excited to announce Hank’s latest album ‘Without A Word’ it has been released on CD, Vinyl and digital. Featuring 14 new recordings, including some well known tunes.
This was recorded and produced in his own studio in Perth Western Australia.
The track list as follows:
1. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
4. Theme From ‘Poirot’
5. Are You Lonesome Tonight
6. Russian Doll
7. Peter Gunn/Baby Elephant Walk
8. Moon River
9. Doctor Who Theme
10. What A Wonderful World
11. Cry Me A River
12. The Fool On The Hill
14. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
It’s available to order worldwide right now from Amazon. CLICK HERE:
Hank Marvin - Without A Word - New Album 2017 - YouTube
November 20th 2016 was the 12 month anniversary of the Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz concert at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland New Zealand. Since that time it is very sad to report this wonderful theatre has now closed. More than likely it will be a permanent closure due to the fact it would require a major upgrade to bring it to a suitable level of safety in the event of an earthquake. This happened just prior to Christmas 2015 only a few weeks after Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz group played at this stunning theatre.
Below is a report from the New Zealand Herald outlining the details.
One of Auckland’s busiest theatres is closed indefinitely because it has been deemed an earthquake risk.
The Maidment Theatre, at the University of Auckland, closed the week before Christmas without fanfare.
A university spokeswoman said a routine review of buildings by a consultant engineer had found it required seismic strengthening.
She said the complex, which includes the Maidment Theatre and the smaller Musgrove Studio Theatre, was closed for the foreseeable future as a precautionary measure and staff had been moved to other buildings.
“The university regrets the disruptions this will cause but considers the safety of its staff and public paramount.”
Auckland Theatre Company and the Auckland Arts Festival need to find new venues for productions booked into the Maidment.
ATC’s general manager, Lester McGrath, is confident of being able to secure new venues for four of its shows and says disruption to play-goers will be minimal.
In 2013, ATC had to scramble to find alternative venues for two productions when an overheated stage light set a curtain on fire. The fire spread into the ceiling but damage to electrical equipment was not as serious as first thought and the theatre reopened three months later.
ATC opens the $36.5 million ASB Waterfront Theatre this year and Mr McGrath says it will be a great relief not to have to deal with venue-related issues. “The fire and the latest closure reinforce the need to get core infrastructure sorted out,” he says.
“[But] everyone has been fantastic in helping us to find new venues.”
Auckland Arts Festival chief executive David Inns is negotiating with other venues to find a new location for Brass Poppies, booked at the Maidment from March 10-12.
He says the opera, written by Ross Harris and Vincent O’Sullivan, has a distinctive design and he wants to ensure this can be replicated at the new venue.
The Maidment Theatre, opened in April 1976, was named after Dr Kenneth Maidment, who was the University’s first Vice-Chancellor. The smaller theatre had a series of name changes until, in 2004, it was renamed the Musgrove Studio Theatre to honour former English department head and Shakespearean scholar Professor Sydney Musgrove.
Works by Kiwi artists Barbree Gummer, Don Binney and sculptor Brett Graham have been removed.
Last year the Government said it was revising its earthquake-prone buildings legislation.
Here we are in 2016 and the updates have been few and far between due to other activities. However here is another photo of the wonderful Brisbane Jazz Club where our tour was completed in November last year.
The Jazz festival was wonderful and the fact there were so many talented people there performing made it very special. Our concert was on the Saturday evening which was follwed by a late night jam session back at the hotel. There were a large number of performers there too, most of whom luckily were staying there. Considering the conclusion was around 3am!
On Saturday November 28th 2015 Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz Quartet played at the wonderful Brisbane Jazz Club.
The OZ Manouche is an annual event that runs for four days, consisting of concerts, Workshops, Masterclasses, filmscreenings, together with merchandising stalls, food and licensed bar. Non stop jamming, and this festival is very similar to others held around the world at various times. One of the most famous is the Samois festival held in France.
It is this year 2015 that commemorates the tenth anniversary of Oz Manouche and many of the same musicians have come from all over Australia and in fact the world to take part in celebrating the music of Django Reinhardt.
It goes without saying that Hank Marvin demands great audience wherever he chooses to play. As the lead guitarist of the famous “Shadows” group formed back in the 1960’s roaring to success on the UK charts and still to this very day having the most number one hits for the longest period of time other than Elvis Presley and The Beatles Hank can still draw the crowds. Should “The Shadows” be touring today the ticket cost to see them would be way up there with any modern group performing in Stadiums anywhere in the world. However Hank Marvin is not only a living guitar legend but a true gentleman who still values his fans to this very day. The Gypsy Jazz Genre Hank has chosen to follow since 2001 is rapidly growing in popularity and the feedback from people who witness Gypsy Jazz for the first time rave about it and cannot get enough, many people have traveled to multiple venues to support Hank and this extraordinary band.
Hank Marvin has stepped out of the shadows and has even gone out of his way to please an audience in some of the smaller towns in New Zealand and Australia on the 2015 tour.
He has taken the trouble to perform at some of the smaller and lesser known venues at a very fair cost just to allow these faithful fans an opportunity to see him in action.
One of these venues happened to be “The Builders Club” in Wollongong NSW on November 26th 2015.
The Club is described as follows:
Located 2 blocks from Wollongong’s CBD, The Builders Club has a range of activities and dining options as well as Function facilities that will suit everyone.
Open everyday from 9.30am until late and with plenty of onsite parking and public transport nearby it is easy to come and visit The Builders Club and enjoy a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere that will keep you coming back!
From the moment the people of Wollongong were aware Hank Marvin was going to be in town all tickets were snapped up and this concert was the very first to sell out on the Australian and NZ tour for 2015. The fans were not disappointed, a polished performance by a group giving their 100 percent effort and delivery before moving on to Brisbane for the Ozmanouch festival over the weekend of November 29th.