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Chicago Gypsy Jazz Fest + World Music Festival Chicago

  • Band of Bohemia 4710 North Ravenswood Avenue Chicago, IL, 60640 United States (map)

World Music Festival Chicago 2017 will conclude by partnering Chicago Gypsy Jazz Festival & Caravan Art Festival for a world music bash! On Sunday, September 24th, Sara Labriola Quartet, Harmonious Wail, Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan and more will take the Band of Bohemia stage. For more updates, visit and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter @WMFChicago #WorldMusicFestChi #ChicagoIsOne 

Event Schedule: 
Show from 1:00-6:00p.m. 

About Alfonso Ponticelli + Swing Gitan: 
Veteran Chicago guitarist Alfonso Ponticelli has reigned supreme as the city’s greatest exponent of jazz manouche, the so-called “Gypsy Jazz” popularized by the brilliant French guitarist Django Reinhardt. Although the guitarist is also an award-winning master of the mountain dulcimer and has played the Australian didgeridoo at Symphony Center, his true passion is the sound immortalized by Reinhardt in the 30s with the great violinist Stephane Grappelli in their Quintette du Hot Club de France. The guitarist’s fiery band Swing Gitan has mastered that hard-swinging sound, with a lineup featuring some of Chicago’s greatest musicians: violinist Steve Gibons, bassist John Bany, reedist Eric Schneider, drummer Bob Rummage, oudist and guitarist Rami Gabriel, and cimbalom player Alex Udvary. Still, as much as Reinhardt is a key inspiration, Ponticelli has made it his mission to expand the repertoire, connecting this particular French sound to the larger Romani musical landscape, whether touching on Spanish flamenco or Eastern European folk material. He’s also the organizer of the annual Gypsy Jazz Festival, now in its 14th year, which occurs every fall at the Green Mill, where Ponticelli and his mad swingers also hold court every Wednesday evening. As Tribune critic Howard Reich has written of the band, “There's no question, though, that Swing Gitan gravitates around guitarist Ponticelli, who brings a distinctly contemporary rhythmic drive and tonal brilliance to classic gypsy jazz. In lead-guitar passages, Ponticelli proved as melodically inventive as he was technically adept. In rhythm-guitar work, he often pushed this music to the point of near-frenzy.” In 2013 Ponticelli and Swing Gitan were chosen as Chicago’s best jazz band in the Chicago Reader.