A group of four University of Calgary students including Cochrane’s own Eric Scott who comprise the band called The Twenty are exposing Cochranites to a rare form of jazz.
Gypsy Jazz is a kind of music that was popular around the 1930s to 1950s in European countries such as France. It was started by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in and around Paris during the 1930s. Reinhardt was foremost among a group of Romani French guitarists working in and around Paris, that also included Baro, Sarane and Metelo Ferret as well as Reinhardt’s brother, Joseph Reinhardt.
In Canada, The Twenty are part of a short list of Canadians who have taken up style of music, others include Gypsohilia, Mishra’s Dream, The Lost Fingers, Django Libre and Les Petits Nouveaux.
Scott, who plays guitar for the band, is joined by Kristof Sokulski on the violin, Matthew Nakaska on the guitar and Adam Pettigrew on the bass guitar. Scott said the band met at the university and became close through their mutual love of music.
“Kristof, Matt and I are in our third year studying music and Adam is in his first year of taking business,” Scott said.
“Adam took a music course with Kristof and I during first year and we played a bit after that … we started rehearsing more seriously in the spring of 2016 and that’s when we decided to form our band.”
“We chose gypsy jazz because Django (Jean Reinhardt) is the most influential figure in the genre and he’s certainly the biggest influence on our playing. It’s pretty upbeat music and we’ve adopted old pop songs and a video game theme to play in this style. We also play more traditional gypsy jazz style pieces.”
The band is still relatively new and looking to increase their fan base, but they have already played in a few local venues including the Gentry Espresso and Wine bar.
“We played at the Gentry for the second time on Jan. 12. We’ve had a lot of fun playing there, the atmosphere is great and the staff is really helpful and friendly. We already had more people coming to our show the second time, which is huge for us because we’re still trying to build ourselves up,” Scott said.
“We’ve gathered a lot of videos and pictures from our concerts that we’re going to use for our social media pages to get ourselves out there a little more. We’re planning to play at many venues in Calgary and the surrounding area; open mic nights or jazz themed nights … basically anything that welcomes us.”
“Right now, we’re still trying to build a fan base and a presence on social media, along with playing in public as much as we can. There aren’t many gypsy jazz bands in Canada, let alone Western Canada so hopefully the people of Alberta will come to enjoy our music as much as we do.”
For more information on when the band is playing, go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/the.twenty.quartet.