Dave Gross has been attending Django in June since before the event became a week-long music camp — which is to say, for something over ten years. That alone makes him one of the best-informed mandolinists in the country when it comes to Gypsy jazz. He’s seen all our artists come through, heard all the repertoire, jammed on it for countless hours, and worked with every mandolin instructor we’ve hosted—Will Patton, Jamie Masefield, Jason Anick, Paul Glasse, Don Stiernberg, Aaron Weinstein, and the guy he’ll be working alongside this year, Tim Connell.
The fruits of Dave’s labors can best be heard on the club and festival stages of the greater NYC area. If those are not within cab-shot of you, check out his CD, Mandology. The effort features a number of Gypsy jazz standards, including the one we hear in the most extended video clip of Django and Stephane Grappelli playing together, “J’attendrai.” Here’s Dave’s take on it, with the formidable Olli Soikkeli on guitar:
The collection also features two Dave Gross originals—”Cool It!” and the popular “Jelly Bean Bounce.” Here’s the latter played live at the Mandology CD-release party:
When not fixated on his Django obsession Dave plays bluegrass straight-up with Blue Plate Special, or gives it a Hip Hop twist with Gangstagrass. A fortuitous stint with Steve Liesman and the Mooncussers not long ago landed him onstage for a show with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and The Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar. A fortuitous stint with us this summer is going to land you the chance to ask him all about it. You’re not going to meet anyone more eager to share.