William Brunard was born into a family of musicians, but first inspired to take up jazz manouche after hearing Tchavolo Schmitt live and later, recordings of Django Reinhadrt. As a teenager William was schooled on guitar by Ninine Garcia, of the La Chope Des Puces and by Frangy Delporte. It was Frangy who suggested William try double bass, a suggestion seconded by the late Patrick Saussois. It was an excellent idea, from which William has made a career of playing with the very best in the Gypsy jazz business. Here he is with Bireli Lagrene—who gives him the nod to take a solo at around the 4 minute mark.
For years William hosted a jam session every Sunday at l’Atelier Charonne in Paris (sadly, now closed) at which those same great players often sat in as invited guests. In this clip at l’Atelier he’s performing on guitar with one such player, Angelo Debarre. William has been Angelo’s go-to bassist for several years now and played a major role in bringing Angelo and his son Raangy to Django in June this year. Thank-you, William!
Though the general public is more familiar seeing him in the role of bassist, you can see from that clip that William Brunard is a very skilled guitarist in this style. He’ll be teaching primarily guitar at DiJ 2018, so let’s have one last look at him wearing that instrument. OK, he starts this one wearing a saxophone, but be not dismayed. He and Brad Brose did it for DiJ 2016 but it still makes me smile—and makes clear what you have to learn from William Brunard.