Regarded as Gypsy Jazz royalty, Paulus Schäfer is known globally as one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation. The Dutch Sinti Gypsy is one of a small handful of contemporary world class musicians bringing the musical style first played by his forefather, the great Django Reinhardt to the international jazz stage. Paulus is in constant demand across the globe, often headlining jazz festivals or performing theatre tours with his various ground-breaking projects. Last year he was invited to join Al Di Meola for a sell-out show at New York's legendary Carnegie Hall, following the concert he was offered a return booking in 2018! Simply put, Paulus is a true master, expect to be blown away by his staggering virtuosity, his impeccable timing and his humble and warm showmanship, an absolute must for lovers of quality music.
Joining him for this musical masterclass are guitarist Chris Quinn - who some of you will know from his appearance at the Wild Hare Club as a solo artist - and bassist Arnoud Vandenberg.
Expect to be wowed - Le QuecumBar has described Paulus as "The best gypsy jazz guitarist in the world!"
And here is something of an aside:
For those who don’t know, Le QuecumBar, situated in Battersea, is London’s premier club for gypsy jazz. I have only been there once with my late friend and Greenpeace colleague, Mark Strutt. Mark and I started as volunteers at Greenpeace UK at the same time and our campaigning careers ran in parallel, with him working on toxic pollution while I worked on ocean issues. While I ended up messing about in boats, he overcame his fear of heights and climbed the chimney of a toxic incinerator in one of those actions that got noticed by all the parents at the school gates. We were good friends, but work and young families meant that we very seldom hung out together but sometimes we would slip out for an ale or an all-you-can eat curry down Chapel Market. When we did so, talk would always go to music; Mark loved guitars to the point that I remember him thrusting a minidisk (remember them?) of Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Happy Trails into my hand as how could I not know the thrill of the guitar playing on their never-ending version of Who Do You Love? However, his real passion was gypsy jazz, playing himself and heading to France in the summer on his motorbike to hang round the campfire, drink, listen and play at an annual gathering of players and aficionados. We talked about going together one year, but we never made it. He did take me to Le QuecumBar for a night of dazzling musicianship by two guitarists whose names I forget. On the next door table Hank Marvin was nodding his head in appreciation. It was a particularly happy evening, I was a bit sozzled. Sadly, Mark never made it to the Wild Hare Club even though was due to come and camp for one Bank Holiday show. I remember contacting him near the time to make arrangements and received no reply which was a bit odd, but I just thought he was wrapped up in work and would get in touch soon enough. A few weeks later, I learned that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and he died not long after. Mark would be so excited about the Paulus Schäfer Trio playing the WHC and I will be thinking of him on the night.
And here to get you in the mood are the Paulus Schäfer Trio playing the summery Coquette filmed last year for the BBC.