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Arts & Culture

The Onyx Club Boys Bring The Music Of Django Reinhardt Back To Life

The Onyx Club Boys approach Django Reinhardt's music with a joie de vivre that would make the jazz legend proud.
Courtesy of Gabriel Pelli
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The Onyx Club Boys approach Django Reinhardt's music with a joie de vivre that would make the jazz legend proud.

Guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt is regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. The Romani-French composer gave birth to a new form of music in the 1930s known as gypsy jazz or Django music. The genre calls on classical and jazz traditions and is deeply influenced by the musette bands of Paris. 

Gypsy music is at the core of the repertoire of the Onyx Club Boys. Violinist and guitarist Gabriel Pelli is classically trained and had never heard of Django music until a friend asked him to join a band. Pelli fell in love with the music and has been playing it ever since. He also founded the annual Carrboro Django Reinhardt Festival, which is in its second year.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Pelli and the rest of the Onyx Club Boys: guitarist Dave Smith, drummer Daniel Hall, and bassist Jonathan Henderson. The Onyx Club Boys will be at headlining the first night of the Carrboro Django Reinhardt Festival at Cat’s Cradle on Saturday, Jan. 19. 

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