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Florin Niculescu - Django Tunes

 

Born in Bucharest in 1967 into a settled gypsy family, Florin Niculescu has grown into one of the finest violin players in jazz today. His father, violinist Corneliu Niculescu, the main collaborator of pan flutist Gheorghe Zamfir for ten years, was Florin’s first teacher on the instrument. At the age of six the boy entered the George Enescu Academy of Music in Bucharest and became a classical soloist. He was awarded a first prize from the Academy and in 1984 received a special mention from the jury of the Wieniavski International Competition in Ljubljana. In addition, he played alongside his father at weddings and celebrations.

In 1990 he left Romania for France and settled in Paris where he started collaborations with Boulou and Elios Ferré, Romane, Babik Reinhardt, Christian Escoudé, Marcel Azzola, Michel Graillier, Angelo Debarre and others. In 1999 he recorded the prize-winning album “Gypsy Ballad” and in 2001 he was voted “Midem Jazz Talent”. In 2000, Florin also performed at the first Django Reinhardt Festival in New York along with Biréli Lagrène, Babik Reinhardt and Bucky Pizzarelli. The same year he became Lagrène’s main partner in the guitarist’s new “Gipsy Project” which received a lot of praise and awards. Florin’s list of collaborators also include Charles Aznavour, Philip Catherine, Françoise Hardy and Henri Salvador.

Hailed as the “successor to Grappelli” (Jazz Hot) and “one of the greatest violinists ever” (Le Monde), Florin Niculescu is the most authentic violin player to continue in the great Gypsy jazz tradition that was once started by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. Combining classical technique, Gypsy temperament and a swinging elegance à la Grappelli, he pays a special tribute to Django on his new album “Django Tunes”, a collection of mostly little known pieces by Django the Great. Guitarists David Reinhardt, Django’s grandson, and Samson Schmitt, the son of Dorado Schmitt, add to a first-class performance. Yet rather than sticking to the old drummerless Gypsy jazz formula, Florin Niculescu is accompanied by a full jazz band, among them prize-winning bassist Darryl Hall from Philadelphia who is known as a collaborator of Geri Allen, Ravi Coltrane, Stefon Harris, Hank Jones, Dianne Reeves and many others.

 

Florin Niculescu - Django Tunes 


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