Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan

Sept. 1 - 2012

Django Reinhardt’s 100th birthday celebrations have come and gone. But for true Djangoheads like hot-wired guitarist Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan, which headlined the dazzling Django centennial concert in Millennium Park two years ago, every day is a good day to pay tribute to the legendary gypsy guitarist. A Chicago area native, Ponticelli can claim credit for raising the city’s gypsy jazz consciousness via Swing Gitan’s long-running Wednesday gig at the Green Mill.

Formed in 2001, the band emulates the acoustic wizardry and irresistible rhythms of the Hot Club of France, the legendary ’30s band featuring Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli. But Ponticelli has a deep background in Spanish flamenco styles as well, and started out playing blues and R&B. Chained to tradition he and his band are not. Today’s lineup includes accordionist Don Stille, violinist Steve Gibons, rhythm guitarist Jason Miller and bassist John Bany.

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