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Stephane Wrembel

Guitar

Stephane Wrembel is quite simply one of the finest guitar players in the world. This prolific musician, composer, educator, and musical director has released a steady stream of music since 2002 truly making his mark as one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music. He has headlined Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Town Hall in NYC and The Lyon Opera House in France. He has toured and/or shared stages with master violinist Mark O’Connor, Sam Bush, Stochelo Rosenberg, Esperanza Spalding, and Al Di Meola.  He has performed at Montreal Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Django Reinhardt Festival in France, Ellnora Guitar Festival, Caramoor Jazz Festival and many others. Born in Paris and raised in Fontainebleau, the home of Impressionism and Django Reinhardt, Wrembel first studied classical piano, beginning at the age of four. But in his mid-teens, he discovered that he had an affinity for guitar. As a big fan of Pink Floyd, he “spent hours learning David Gilmour’s style,” he said. “So I had a classical background, a passion for rock music, and then I found out about Django. I fell in love with the very strong impressionist feel in his music.” Reinhardt, long regarded as one of the most influential musicians and composers of all time, was a Sinti (a Roma group from Western Europe). Wrembel immersed himself in Sinti culture, spending “six, seven years going to the camps. I started learning the atmosphere of what it really means to play Sinti-style guitar. I learned from the masters such as Angelo Debarre and Serge Krief. That’s how you learn this music because it is specific to a culture.  Music is not only the notes. Without the culture, something is missing.” Wrembel graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2002. That same year he released his debut album, Introducing Stephane Wrembel. Vintage Guitar Magazine praised the recording as “pure dazzle and dash, a stunning storm of notes that blankets the melody in a rain of arpeggiated notes.” Wrembel moved to NYC in 2003, where he recorded Gypsy Rumble (2005), which includes mandolin legend David Grisman, and 2006’s Barbes-Brooklyn found favor with critics. Oscar-winning director Woody Allen used one of Gypsy Rumble’s tracks, “Big Brother,” in his 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Wrembel’s fourth album, Terre Des Hommes, was released the same year. In 2003, Wrembel created his own annual event, Django á Gogo Music Festival & Guitar Camp, bringing together some of the finest musicians in the world to celebrate the Sinti guitar style to perform in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall.  This weeklong event held in his hometown of Maplewood, N.J. and NYC is now being produced in Los Angeles, Canada and beyond. Wrembel’s breakthrough came with his original composition “Bistro Fada,” a Django-influenced swinging waltz on his fifth album Origins that became the theme song for Woody Allen’s 2011 Oscar®-winning film, Midnight In Paris. It was included on the Grammy®-winning soundtrack for the film.  Additional recordings include 2014’s Dreamers of Dreams, 2016’s Live In India and Live In Rochester, and from from 2017-2021, Wrembel released The Django Experiment I -The Django Experiment VI.  In 2020, he contributed the original score for the Woody Allen movie, Rifkin’s Festival, which stars Gina Gershon, Christoph Waltz and Wallace Shawn. And while Wrembel is now considered one of the preeminent master guitarists in the world specialized in the Django Reinhardt style, Wrembel revels in transcending and expanding. His music incorporates jazz, blues, classical, swing, flamenco and rock. All of these influences come together as a genre identifiable only as Stephane Wrembel.  

Stephane Wrembel
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