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The DeAngelo Trio is a father and sons family band which specializes in a style of music known as “gypsy jazz”, also known as “hot club jazz” or “gypsy swing”. The music grew out of European night clubs in the 1930’s, most famously the Hot Club de France where gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli created musical innovations that would define the style.

 Cory DeAngelo and his older son Sam both play guitars. Younger son Joe has been playing violin since the third grade.  Cory discovered the gypsy jazz musical style while on a trip to Croatia, and realized that it was a style of music they could all play together.

They began to practice together listening to recordings of other gypsy jazz bands. They furthered their training by attending the Django in June summer camps in New England which offer master classes in the style and a chance to jam with other gypsy jazz groups. Now the DeAngelo Trio performs at various events and private parties around the area.

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Talented family band plays Gypsy jazz

 

 

 

 

 

Cory DeAngelo and his sons Joe, left, and Sam, right, make up the DeAngelo Trio, known for their gypsy jazz music style.

 

 

Gypsy jazz — that wonderfully infectious style of music played in smoky Parisian jazz clubs and swanky dance halls during the 1930s and ‘40s — is making a comeback.

The man who is credited with creating this style is guitarist Django Reinhardt. Gypsy (or Roma) by birth, Reinhardt is considered by many to have been a musical genius. He wrote hundreds of tunes in the Gypsy jazz style.

Now 60 years after his death, Django Reinhardt’s music is enjoying a revival thanks to the dozens of Django Festivals held throughout North America and Europe and to the many musicians who dedicate themselves to keeping his music alive.

The Carlisle area is fortunate to have the DeAngelo Trio, a group of excellent musicians who play in the Gypsy jazz style. The trio features father Cory DeAngelo on rhythm guitar and his two sons Joe DeAngelo on violin and Sam DeAngelo on melody guitar.

The inspiration to start a Gypsy jazz band came to Cory when he and Sam were on a mission trip in Croatia.

“We were there playing classic rock in a band, you know Jimi Hendrix covers and stuff like that,” Cory said. “One of our concerts got rained out and we ended up playing in a jazz club that was operated by a well known Gypsy Jazz guitarist. I hadn’t had much exposure to Gypsy jazz but it just started to really attract me.”

Cory was excited about the idea of forming a band, especially since Gypsy jazz features the instruments that he and his sons play.

“Not many musical styles pair up the guitar and the violin,” he said.

Sam, now a junior at Carlisle High School, was already playing in the jazz band at school and thought playing Gypsy jazz would help him to get better at improvisation.

Joe, 15 and a sophomore at 21st Century Cyber Charter School, said he wasn’t quite sure he would have the time. He already had a busy schedule practicing for his classical violin lessons with Peter Sirotin, the concert master of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. But in time, he came around, and now enjoys it.

Joe says that when he plays jazz he feels a lot freer to create his own style without the constraints of classical music. He says playing jazz has really helped learn to think on his feet.

“It’s like my teacher says — you have to train your mind to think faster than you play,” he said. “You can either think faster or play slower. In jazz playing slower is not an option.”

The DeAngelo Trio hone their craft every summer at a camp they go to in North Hampton, Mass., called Django in June.

“It’s about a week long and there are a bunch of gypsy jazz musicians from all over the world that come there to give lessons and play concerts,” Joe said. “It’s just basically a week of playing music nonstop.”

The DeAngelo Trio maintains a busy playing schedule sometime performing once or twice a week. In the summer months, they like to do street music.

“We’ll go somewhere where we won’t get arrested and play on the street,” Cory said. “We’ve had good success with busking in Carlisle. We just have to be sensitive to the business owners. If they don’t want us there we move on.”

Aside from the two older boys, Cory and his wife Emily have three other children — Abby Jane, 14; Grace 11; and Micah 6. Emily is a teacher busy with home schooling and Cory works for Starbucks Coffee Co.

The DeAngelo Trio is scheduled to play from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Art, Music and Wine Walk in the So-Hi Arts District of West Pomfret and South Hanover streets in Carlisle.

Other event attractions include wine tastings and displays of artisans’ wares and talents. To learn more about the event, including ticket information, visit Pat Craig Studios located on 30 W. Pomfret St., call 717-245-0382 or check it out on facebook at www.facebook.com/events/173948222759504/.

To learn more about the DeAngelo Trio visit www.deangelotrio.com.

Jess Hayden is the executive director of the Susquehanna Folk Music Society and a clarinetist with the West Shore Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys writing about all styles of music. Reach her at arts.jesshayden@gmail.com.