John Jorgenson Interview

(Originally aired on December 9, 2010)

John Jorgenson is the most heralded American guitarist in todayís Gypsy jazz scene, a movement that builds on the music of the legendary Django Reinhardt. Jorgenson played the role of Reinhardt in the 2004 film, Head in the Clouds, and his jazz manouche quintet performs at Gypsy jazz festivals in Europe, Canada and the US. Festival crowds enjoy hearing Jorgenson and his crew drop hints of Dixieland, swing and even bluegrass into their music without straying too far from the classic manouche sound.

But Jorgensonís creative reach extends beyond Gypsy jazz. In addition to acoustic and electric guitar, he plays clarinet, piano, saxophone, pedal steel, mandolin and Greek bouzouki. A cofounder of the Desert Rose Band and the Hellecasters, and a member of Elton Johnís band for six years in the í90s, Jorgenson has musical roots in country, rock, swing and classical music. His session credits include Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, Luciano Pavarotti and Barbra Streisand.

In our exclusive interview, Jorgenson describes recording One Stolen Night, the latest album by the John Jorgenson Quintet, and shares his insights on the modern Gypsy jazz scene. Along with the interview, we'll hear selections from One Stolen Night.