‘Gypsy jazz’ duo knows PT, is new to Rainshadow

Guitarist Jimmy Grant relishes his return to ‘calm, peaceful’ town

Posted 2/19/20

Rainshadow Recording is hosting not just one, but two practitioners of “gypsy jazz” this month, as they promise a diverse musical set unlike anything you’re likely to hear live …

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‘Gypsy jazz’ duo knows PT, is new to Rainshadow

Guitarist Jimmy Grant relishes his return to ‘calm, peaceful’ town

Posted

Rainshadow Recording is hosting not just one, but two practitioners of “gypsy jazz” this month, as they promise a diverse musical set unlike anything you’re likely to hear live elsewhere.

Guitarist Jimmy Grant and violinist Tim Kliphuis are teaming up to perform at Rainshadow at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, and while it’s their first time at that venue, Grant looks forward to returning to the Port Townsend area.

“I’ve played in Port Townsend two or three times already at the Upstage, but this time, I spotted this small, intimate venue with the perfect sound,” Grant said of Rainshadow. “We have 15 different gigs on this tour. We’re playing in Florida, Georgia, California, New Mexico and more — a different state each night. So I’m glad it worked out that we could come here. I love Port Townsend. It’s so calm and peaceful.”

Although Grant and Kliphuis have known each other since 2011 and previously collaborated on “lower key” endeavors such as jam sessions and the like, this marks their first tour together.

Grant grew up with bluegrass, folk, Celtic and classical music before he gravitated toward the music of Belgian-born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt.

Grant subsequently studied under acclaimed jazz guitarists Jim Nichols and Howard Alden, and to this day, he cites Bach, Joe Pass and Benny Goodman as his main influences.

“Others have called it ‘gypsy jazz,’ but so many people don’t know there’s this whole other side to it,’ Grant said, citing the influence of Hungarian, Romanian and various Eastern-European cultures on that work. “Granted, this concert will feature more Latin-flavored songs, with Spanish classical guitar compositions, but you shouldn’t expect just one thing. We’ll be offering a whole wide range of material, and having fun with it.”

Grant praised Kliphuis as a master of the violin and acknowledged that, like himself, Kliphuis has managed to fuse together an eclectic array of influences to create his own unique “classical crossover” sound while still honoring the roots of those cultures and genres.

“He’s worked with some of the best musicians in the world,” Grant said.

Indeed, Kliphuis has shared the stage with notable names such as Frankie Gavin, Richard Galliano and Les Paul, and has been lauded for his musical genius by Nigel Kennedy.

Kliphuis’ achievements include winning the Scottish Jazz Award International; collaborating with the Richard Strauss Festival, Netherlands and Tallinn Chamber Orchestras, and the Cape Town Philharmonic; and curating the Fiddles on Fire Festival in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

These successes have led Kliphuis to a Sony Classical recording contract, and a performance for the Dutch king and queen.

Grant can point to his own retinue of high-profile collaborators, having performed with David Grisman and European musicians Ludovic Beier on accordion and Paulus Schäfer on gypsy guitar, as well as the Hot Club of San Francisco. He also performs coast-to-coast with Velvet Caravan, a Savannah-based international touring group.

Ironically, part of what Rainshadow is looking forward to about performing in Rainshadow is how its more intimate setting “gives us a lot of space to experiment that’s not always a possibility on a bigger stage. If there’s any reason you should come to our concert, it’s that it’ll be a rare opportunity to take in music like this.”

Tickets for Grant and Kliphuis’ concert are available at Crossroads Music and Quimper Sound Records, or online at jimmyandtim.brownpapertickets.com.

For more information, call 360-301-0291 or email centrumrecording@gmail.com.

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