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Art & Culture Center of Whidbey Island

DjangoFest Northwest

Celebrating More Than Sixteen Years of Gypsy Jazz!

Django Fest Northwest

Back in 2000, DjangoFest Northwest artistic director Nicholas Lehr first attended the annual Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois-sur-Seine, the small commune in north-central France where the revered musician once lived. There, he ran into guitarist Robin Nolan, and both agreed it would be nice to have a similar event in the United States.

Lehr, then a Whidbey Island resident, had previously seen local favorites Pearl Django perform at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) to a packed house. So he approached WICA’s executive director Stacie Burgua about producing a two-night event—Pearl Django and Robin Nolan on Friday, with the reverse billing on Saturday.

Now in its 17th year, DjangoFest Northwest has evolved into the premier showcase of gypsy jazz music in North America. The five-day event, held annually in late-September, features some of the genre’s biggest names, including Stochelo Rosenberg, Gonzalo Bergara, Dan Hicks, and more!

The festival attracts thousands of devotees—known as “Djangofiles”—from around the world, who migrate to Langley for performances, workshops, and informal “djam” sessions that organically spring up around the seaside village.

DjangoFest Northwest is the premier showcase of Gypsy Jazz in North America, having presented some of the biggest names in the genre to thousands of enthusiastic participants. Whidbey Island Center for the Arts hosts this yearly festival, bringing local and international musicians to our rural island community.

Please visit the official DjangoFest Northwest website for complete festival information, to join their mailing list, and to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest news and DFNW updates. You can also check out esteemed animator, illustrator and filmmaker Drew Christie’s DjangoFest Northwest animated short. The piece highlights master guitarist Django Reinhardt’s personal triumph over tragedy, which led to his creation of the gypsy “le jazz hot” guitar technique.

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