Hot Club of San Francisco accompanies Silent Surrealism films with gypsy jazz at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts Sunday, November 21 at 2 p.m.



Hot ClubSilent can be hot. Just ask the members of the Hot Club of San Francisco who play live gypsy jazz à la Django Reinhardt as accompaniment to 1920s and 1930s surreal silent films. This acclaimed ensemble will perform at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for this unique Arts & Minds presentation.

The Hot Club of San Francisco is an ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians celebrating the music of Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and their pioneering Quintette du Hot Club de France. The ensemble breathes new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group's superb lead guitarist, Paul Mehling.

The Hot Club of San Francisco presents "Silent Surrealism," an evening of silent films accompanied live by the group's original gypsy jazz scores. The films and the music revive a lost tradition while transporting the audience to the idyllic French countryside in the mid-twentieth century.

The setting: Sometime before dark, a gypsy caravan sets up camp in an unused field outside of town. The locals find themselves drawn to the scene, knowing that these visitors are always good for an evening's entertainment. What they find is an impromptu screening of rare silent films, perhaps thrown on the side of a barn by a battered old projector. As the images flicker to life beneath the stars, gypsy musicians play their instruments, matching every scene with characteristic virtuosity, passion and humor.

The films, made between 1912 and 1930, cover a wide range of styles and moods. Whether comedy, art film or simply an affecting gem, the four films all represent early attempts to portray fantasy on screen, often achieved with alarming ingenuity.

UsherFrom Charley Bowers' tall tales of gun-toting mice - "Now You Tell One" (1926) - and metal-eating birds - "It's a Bird" (1930) - to the brooding Cubism of James Sibley Watson's and Melville Webber's "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1928) to the bittersweet story of a street urchin's first glimpse of the countryside - "The Land Beyond the Sunset," (1912) - Silent Surrealism will carry the audience to all-but-forgotten realms of fancy and imagination.

Critics have hailed the group's playing as "intricate, scorching and often brilliant..." Acoustic Guitar. From American festivals such as Monterey and Chautauqua to festivals in Mexico, Iceland and France, plus concert halls across North America, The Hot Club of San Francisco keeps this historic music fresh and alive.

Tickets are available at fairfield.edu/quick or from the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Special offers and discounts are available through the Quick Center's e-mail list. Join, by contacting boxoffice@quickcenter.com. And become a fan of the Quick Center for the Arts on Facebook! Keep up-to-date with the latest performance news, plus special offers and discounts! Find the Quick Center at www.facebook.com/FairfieldQuickCenter.

Listen to an mp3 audio file of the Hot Club of San Francisco: http://www.baylinartists.com/userfiles/HC_Not_So_Fast.mp3

Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Access to the Quick Center for the Arts is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Special note: From Oct. 4, 2010 through June 30, 2012, the southern end of North Benson Road (Rt. 135) will be closed to traffic on nights and weekends. Round Hill Road intersects with Barlow and provides access to the Quick Center for the Arts.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 2, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 99