If Brazil has 4 stars on its football team’s t-shirts, Romania should have at least that many for its outstanding violin players. Costel Nitescu is on the Romanian jazz violin dream team, along with superstars Florin Niculescu, Marius Apostol and Rares Morarescu. Brought into the spotlight on the Gypsy jazz stage by the likes of Angelo Debarre, Stochelo Rosenberg and Tchavolo Schmitt, Costel has a style at once elegant and fiery. Here he is demonstrating these qualities on “Coquette”:
First violin in the National Radio Orchestra of Bucarest at the age of 16, Costel is thoroughly classically trained and quite literally “at home” with the repertoire of various Central European musical styles. In the early 2000’s he moved to Paris, where his skills as an improviser quickly launched him onto the upper rungs of the jazz manouche ladder. In 2008 he released his own tribute to the master, Forever Swing, Grappelli Forever. It showcased not only his skills as a violinist, but as a composer as well. He co-wrote this, the album’s opening track, with the bass player, Yves Rousseau. The tune is, “Nico”, written for Costel’s daughter, Nicole. They are joined by Antoine Hervier (piano), Yoan Serra (drums) and our old friend Adrien Moignard on guitar.
An experienced instructor, Costel has been giving private lessons for years. He may not be able to speak much English (we’ll have an interpreter here to help with that) but he’ll be able to speak your musical language—whether classical, tsigane or jazz. This is a great opportunity for novices and experts alike to work with a master, and to do so in leafy green environs not so different than those you see here in the south of France, where Costel’s wizardry met that of Steeve Laffont. You don’t want to miss this.