Saturday, March 28 / 7:00 p.m.
WDIY 88.1 FM presents
READING POPS ORCHESTRA CELEBRATES
THE SPIRIT OF DJANGO REINHARDT

featuring JULIEN LABRO, FRANK VIGNOLA, VINNY RAINOLO,
JOSH TAYLOR, TOM STROHMAN

Miller Center for the Arts
Tickets: $49 (Reserved Seating)

Reading Pops conductor Will Rapp
Accordion master Julie Labro

Hot Club Jazz, or Gypsy Jazz, is a blend of traditional Roma music and swing jazz that was pioneered by the legendary Hot Club of France Quintet, which was led by guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Django was attempting to do his own version of American Hot Jazz, as played by stars like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. The Hot Club of France Quintet used acoustic guitars, bass and violin, rather than horns and drums. Django added some French and Gypsy flavor and created a blend of music that is quite popular and accessible.

The Reading Pops’ reputation as a dynamic orchestra has sprouted significantly in the rich topsoil of collaboration with a litany of accomplished artists in their Berks Jazz Fest and Sunday With the Pops concerts.

The Pops are a professional 55-piece orchestra made up of musicians from Berks County and surrounding counties who perform popular classics and classic pop.

The Pops have performed with such luminaries as The Four Freshmen (five times), Paquito D’Rivera, Ramsey Lewis, David Benoit, Chuck Mangione, Rick Braun, Jim Brickman, John Pizzarelli, Nelson Rangell, New York Voices, City Rhythm Orchestra, Diane Schuur, Brian Bromberg, Ann Hampton Calloway, Eric Marienthal, Chuck Loeb, Jane Monheit, Cathy Chemi, Skip Stine, Livingston Taylor, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Minas Sextet, Andrew Neu, Keiko Matsui, David Cullen and the Erich Cawalla Quintet.

Julien Labro has established himself as one of the foremost accordion and bandoneón players in both the classical and jazz genres.

His artistry, virtuosity and creativity as a musician, composer and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to astonish audiences worldwide.

Extraordinary guitarist Frank Vignola’s stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Madonna, Ringo Starr, Donald Fagen, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops and guitar legend Les Paul.

Vignola’s jaw-dropping technique explains why the New York Times deemed him “one of the brightest stars of the guitar.”

Vinny Raniolo is best known for his accompanying skills and is a very high demand rhythm guitarist. His dynamic playing has brought him to 14 countries on three continents.

He has performed in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, such as the Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Lincoln Center in New York and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.

Guitarist Josh Taylor is a member of the Hot Club of Reading that focuses on early hot jazz stylings made popular by Reinhardt.

Taylor, who has performed around Reading for years with various collaborations, also has a band called Djangoholics Anonymous. So you could safely assume that the man is hooked on Django.

Tom Strohman plays the flute, clarinet and saxophone. He has performed with Patti Page, Al Martino, Sonny and Cher, Eddie Fisher, The Four Aces, Della Reese, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vinton, Johnny Mathis and Clay Aiken.

Strohman also has performed with the Harrisburg and York Symphony Orchestras. He is a member of Third Stream, one of Pennsylvania’s finest contemporary bands that has performed with Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine, Livingston Taylor, Jeff Beck, Deodato, Spyro Gyra and Phil Wilson.