Harry Edwards Music (B.Mus. & B.A.)

Back from studying gypsy jazz in the U.S.A and France

A few weeks ago I arrived back in Hobart after spending 3 months overseas studying gypsy jazz guitar.

This trip was made possible due to the huge generosity of arts funding bodies the Australian Arts Council, Arts Tasmania, Regional Arts Tasmania and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia. Without the funding of these organisations the scope of my trip would have been much smaller. A huge thanks to all of them. For Australian musicians/artists reading this, please look into these organisations as a possible source of funding for your arts practice, I’ve linked the above titles to the relevant websites. One great opportunity is the Art Start program offered by the Australian Arts Council

I spent most of my time overseas living just outside of Paris, in the suburb Aubervilliers. I also spent a few weeks in the U.S.A. at the start of my trip where I went along to the annual Django in June music camp.

It was a great few months, and kind of seems like it was a bit of a dream now that I’m back in Tasmania. I met so many brilliant musicians and went along to countless jam sessions and concerts in Paris, and took many lessons with the world’s leading experts in gypsy jazz style guitar playing.

I was very very fortunate to be able to take some lessons from my favorite guitar, Sebastien Giniaux. This was a dream come true for me. Sebastien is such an incredible musician, and a really nice guy too. Some other musicians I had the fortune of studying with while abroad were Mathieu Chatelian, Samy Daussat, Tcha Limberger, Christophe Lartilleux, Thomas Baggerman, Reinier Voet, William Brunard, Romain Vuillemin, Jean-Philippe Watramez, and Antoine Boyer.

It is great to be back in Tasmania, where I look forward to sharing what I’ve learnt with students and audiences alike.

Whilst away I also purchased a beautiful French-made gypsy jazz guitar, handmade by master guitar luthier Antoine Prabel, who lives just outside of Lyon in France. Antoine and I first met at the Samois-sur-Seine Festival of Django Reinhardt in June this year, where jazz-manouche luthiers annually display their wares. He had one guitar in particular that really left an impression on me, but had already sold.

When I visited him in Lyon two months later, he had made me two guitars to try. I walked away with the beautiful model you can see on the homepage of this website, which he named the Tasmanian Tiger because of the characteristic striped that appear on the back of the neck. It is such a beautiful guitar, and a real upgrade from the Gitane I have had since 2010.

Django’s Tiger on the ABC and other media

A gypsy jazz trio I am a part of named Django’s Tiger recently gave a live performance and an interview on ABC Hobart’s evening show, hosted by Helen Shield,

We played two tunes. The first was an original composition named ‘Gadje,’ and we followed this up with Isham Jones’ ‘I’ll see you in my dreams,’ a swing classic, and Django Reinhardt favourite.

Gadje is a Romani word meaning ‘non-gypsy,’ which is definitely what we are. Whilst not having gypsy heritage, however, we still play this music with a strong sentimentality and sense of enjoyment. Gypsy jazz is such fun, accessible, swinging music…

The Advocate Newspaper also did a short piece on the group (18/03/14) in anticipation of our North-West Tasmania gigs in May. There will be a feature article in the paper closer to the dates (16th – 18th May).

Hope to see you at a gig soon,

Cheers

Harry

Grant to travel to the U.S.A. and Paris to study Gypsy Jazz

I’ve been very fortunate to receive some funding from Arts Tasmania and Regional Arts Tasmania to travel both to the U.S. and Paris in June 2014, to study with some of the world leading Gypsy Jazz guitarists. These two grants will allow me to purse my passion for this music both by funding my tuition, and placing me in countries where Gypsy Jazz thrives.

In the states I will be spending a week immersing  myself in the New York music scene, checking out as many gigs as I can, before attending ‘Django in June’ (www.djangoinjune.com). This will be a week long camp (June 17th – 22nd) in Northampton, Massachusetts dedicated to the study of this niche genre. It should be amazing, and I highly recommend to any fans and players of this style to check it out.

After ‘Django in June,’ I’ll be flying over to Paris to attend the annual Django Reinhardt Festival (www.festivaldjangoreinhardt.com) in Samois (June 25th – 29th). This is the premiere gathering of Manouche artists, in the country where the music was born, and will be a great opportunity to hear and jam with some leading artists in this genre.

Following the Samois festival I will be renting accommodation in central Paris, and commencing 2 months of private tuition with 3 professional gypsy jazz musicians, namely Antoine Boyer, Christophe Lartilluex and Samy Daussat. These guys are all brilliant musicians, and I’m sure I’ll get a lot out of it.

Living in central Paris will also allow me to see live gypsy jazz performed several times a week. Venues such as Taverne de Cluny, L’atelier Charonne and Bouquet du Nord showcase Manouche music throughout the week, often at no charge to patrons. If I can see guitarist Sebastien Giniaux play at least once, I think my mind will be blown.

Wish me luck

Cheers, Harry

Recent & upcoming gigs

Django’s Tiger have played a few fun gigs around Tasmania lately.

Last weekend we played at Sfuso Restaurant, Blackmans Bay. We performed several Manouche standards, and also road tested some original material. We also played a gig at ‘Jazz at the Port’ in Port Sorell on February the 2nd, with my sister Maggie Edwards singing a few standards with us. Hopefully Mags will join us for a few shows in the future.

Coming up in May we will be doing 3 shows on the north-west coast. The evening of Friday the 16th we will be playing the ‘Live at the Wharf’ gig in Ulverstone, then Otis Room on the Saturday, and finishing up the weekend with a 2pm Sunday concert at the Devonport Yacht Club. We will have a few special guests playing with us at these gigs, including Mags again. Hope to see you there.

Cheers, Harry

Website up and running

Hi there,

Thanks for visiting my website. I’ve put it together as a platform for sharing my original music, and as a reference point for potential students. If you click on ‘Audio’ you can listen to tracks from a CD I recorded in 2012, featuring my original compositions. Feel free to have a browse, and please get in touch via the ‘Contact’ page for any teaching/gig enquiries.

Cheers

Harry

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