FUMÉE GYPSY PROJECT
11/8 Celebrating Female Songwriters & Lyricists
"...a suave fusion between European and American jazz traditions that is elegant and upbeat, yet sensitive and lyrical."
-- Andrea Cunningham, City of Evanston’s Cultural Arts
Christy Bennett - vocals
Art Davis - trumpet
Don Stiernberg - mandolin
Christian Dillingham - bass
Bandleader and vocalist Christy Bennett began performing straight-ahead jazz in 2006. Classically trained, with a degree in Vocal Performance from DePaul University, she had also been drawn to jazz through elective classes and combos.
In 2010, Bennet reconnected with a high school friend who introduced her to the 1930’s and 40’s music of Django Reinhardt and The Hot Club of France and ignited her love of gypsy jazz. Another high school friend, in 2012, asked Bennett to sing two songs at her wedding with an instrumental gypsy jazz duo, that immediately inspired Bennett to form her own gypsy jazz band—Fumée—based on this European style.
Her quest for this rare repertoire led Bennett to antique stores and European Internet auction sites, collecting sheet music by Django Reinhardt and his contemporaries that had been almost lost in time. Bennett then gathered a diverse and talented group of Chicago musicians. Performing the compositions of the master who invented the genre brought a new understanding of their music, energizing both the musicians’ and audience’s appreciation.
Their latest recording is, "Lost Lyrics: A Collection of Django Reinhardt compositions with lyrics by his contemporaries"