Jazz guitarists Alex Ciavarelli and Rudy Marquez, known together as Django Shredders, will bring their exuberant energy and a virtuosity beyond their years to the Bothwell Arts Center to perform “The Life and Times of Django Reinhardt” on January 19. Regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Belgian jazz guitarist Reinhardt has inspired songwriters and performers worldwide for decades. In a compelling exploration of the late master’s legendary music as well as the music of those he influenced, Ciaverelli and Marquez trace the story of the rise of the “gypsy jazz” style and sound Reinhardt established.
The San Diego natives met while undergraduates in the jazz studies program at San Diego State University. Their mutual interest in Reinhardt led them to develop the fascinating program which shares their joy in his music, in addition to some of the history behind it. The two have toured the Southwest together, including performances at Django Vegas and at the San Diego Gypsy Jazz Festival. This month, Ciaverelli and Marquez have a nine-concert residency at the Sonoma County Libraries, where they will present a version of “The Life and Times of Django Reinhardt” tailored especially for families. While in Northern California, they will also appear as part of the “Center on the Go” concert series at the Grass Valley Center.
Well-versed in all styles of jazz, as well as rock and pop, Ciavarelli performs solo and with his band throughout Southern California at various clubs and venues. Ciavarelli has been a featured guest artist at Concerts in the Park on Coronado Island and in Balboa Park, as well as at the Kyoto Prize Gala.
Originally eager to become a rock and roll musician, Marquez instead ended up studying classical guitar before discovering his passion for jazz. He played in a gypsy jazz group at San Diego State called Hot Bananas and also performs with a jazz organ trio. Ciavarelli and Marquez have been performing as Django Shredders since 2017 and will demonstrate their remarkable ability to capture the gypsy jazz style in their intimate tribute to Django Reinhardt at the Bothwell Arts Center.
The performance by Django Shredders is the first in the new Bothwell Presents series, which entails intimate concerts designed to highlight exciting new artists, as well as more established small groups. Scott Kenison, Executive Director of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, sees the series as an opportunity to share with the community unique and affordable performing arts experiences, in addition to what is already presented at the Bankhead Theater.
“We often come across talented artists and events that are best suited to a smaller, more casual venue,” says Kenison. “While the Bothwell has welcomed groups such as Gabe Duffin and his Pog Mo Thoin band for years, we now hope to build on those shows with this expanded series.”
As aforementioned, Ciavarelli and Marquez are set to appear at the Bothwell this coming Saturday, January 19 at 8 p.m. General admission seating costs just $20 but is selling quickly, so be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible.
Contact the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center with any questions.