To simply categorize the style of this Berlin–based sextet as “gypsy swing” would not do them justice. Although the tradition of Jazz Manouche underlies the foundation for many of their original songs, Django Lassi keeps their tonal horizon open in many directions, extending well beyond Reinhardt-esque compositions, to wild poetic balkan dances, to electro-swing trance with freestyled lyrics. The bands diverse influences fuse into an irrestibly danceable experience.
It was 2005 when baby Django Lassi set out on their humble mission to spread gypsy jazz in Berlin. The early nights were filled with gigs in seedy taverns, shady organizers, and sprawling backyard parties. Here the ensemble quickly found their way into the hearts and especially in the legs of their listeners. Eight years later, Django Lassi is well known in several neighborhoods in Europe, as a party band, but also a musical one, on the one hand rocking the “Fusion” festival but also performing with renowned colleagues such as the Rosenberg Trio.
‘Szupa Czipa’, their current album of all original songs, was released in November 2013. It is a furious inventory of the music the band has developed in the last two years. The sextet combines four nationalities today (Israeli-Ivorian-German-American) and speaks several musical languages: virtuoso gypsy swing is still at the base, but the vocabulary in their own compositions evokes their trips to Romania, the Balkans, Anatolia, Spain, and beyond. Since 2010 Roland Satterwhite plays violin and sings a mixture of blues and wild freestyled vocal discharges.
Although Django Lassi’s musical transgressions might offend traditionalists, those who attend their concerts appreciate the experimentation and spontaneity of the musicians. Django Lassi started with the sinti-swing tradition, but they continue to expand, and create new and exciting blends of original sounds.