Le Jazz Hot Quartet


Le Jazz Hot Quartet

Nov 04, 2023
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory

2040 Addison Street, 2040 Addison Street

Le Jazz Hot plays in the style and spirit of Django Reinhardt. They never fail to dazzle & delight!  This group is the quartet version of the beloved Hot Club of San Francisco, described as …one of the most cohesive and entertaining Gypsy swing bands in the United States by the San Francisco Chronicle.

No doubt, you will leave this show feeling uplifted!

Band Members & Instrumentation

Paul Pazzo Mehling – solo guitar, vocals, leader

Evan Zeppo Price – violin

Jordan Samuels- rhythm guitar

Dexter Williams – string bass

Artist Bios

Paul Mehling, the leader of Le Jazz Hot and the HCSF, has been dubbed the godfather of American Gypsy jazz. He discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in grammar school, and decades later the music that took root in his young soul finally bore fruit.

The band’s first album was produced by Mehling and put out on the band’s own label (Hot Club Records). Since then, they’ve put out 15 unique recordings of Gypsy flavored jazz including “The Lady in Red,” a set for Clarity Recordings in 1999, featuring Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks and San Francisco jazz singing legend Barbara Dane, “Swing This” (2003) and “Postcards from Gypsyland” (2005) which includes tangos, waltzes and sparkling Mehling originals. In 2000, The Hot Club of San Francisco was the first American band invited to play the Festival de Jazz Django Reinhardt in Samois-Sur-Seine, ground zero for the current Django revival. The foundation of the current HCSF has been together for ten years, anchored by Mehling and the improvisational brilliance of violinist Evan Price. Their “Hot Club 30 Years” (2018) CD is a sampler of some of their VERY best.

Critics have noted that the music of Mehling and the HCSF owes as much to the Swing Era as Gypsy jazz, a characterization Mehling doesn’t dispute. “We have a swing or die approach to the music that’s distinctly American. We’re trying to challenge the tendency to slavishly imitate Django’s style, without watering down the Gypsy tradition or diluting the music. We bring out the visceral element of the music that Serge Krief told me is so important. When I talk with Gypsy musicians, they say that they love what we do because they can tell we love the music. If people dig our music, when Gypsy bands come to America, there will be an audience waiting to hear them.”

Evan Price is steadily becoming one of the most respected jazz violinists of his generation. A native of Detroit, MI, his musical background includes some earnest dues-paying in a variety of genres. As a young competitive fiddler, he won his share of awards, having been named the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Champion, Canadian Junior Fiddle Champion, and Canadian Novelty Fiddling Champion. He also performed with some of the masters of fiddle lore—Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Frigo, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, Johnny Gimble, Buddy Spicher, and Vassar Clements—as well as a diverse array of pop icons from Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to comedian, Steven Wright.

Evan’s college career included stints at both The Cleveland Institute of Music and at Berklee College of Music and has himself served as a member of the music faculty at Wellesley College.

Evan is a ten-year veteran of the world-renowned, paradigm-shifting jazz ensemble, the Turtle Island Quartet. During his tenure in Turtle Island, Evan gave over five hundred performances in concert venues from Latvia to Australia and had the opportunity to collaborate with many musical luminaries, such as Cuban clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, and pianists Dr. Billy Taylor and Kenny Barron. He recorded five CDs with Turtle Island, two of which “Four + 4” and “A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane” received GRAMMY® awards in 2006 and 2008 in the Classical Crossover category.

Since 1998, Evan has been proud to call himself a member of The Hot Club of San Francisco, perhaps the most venerable Gypsy jazz band in the US. During his tenure, the group has thrilled audiences from Iceland to Mexico and across the United States and has released six CDs which feature Evan on violin.

An accomplished composer, Evan has contributed compositions and arrangements to the repertoires of HCSF, Turtle Island Quartet, Quartet San Francisco, Orchestra Nashville, The San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. He lives in Mill Valley, CA, with his wife and daughter.

Jordan Samuels is an accomplished guitarist who has been studying, performing, and teaching throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for the last twenty years. While at San Francisco State University, he completed his formal training in music composition under the guidance of Ronald Caltabiano and Richard Festinger while simultaneously pursuing a jazz studies curriculum directed by Andrew Speight and John Calloway.

Since completing his studies in 2010, Samuels has become an in-demand jazz guitarist and can be seen performing regularly with the Hot Club of San Francisco, Erik Jekabson’s Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, and his own trio Certified Organic. He has also appeared with Doug Martin, Paula West, Wil Blades, Smith Dobson, Adam Theis, Matt Clark and Bobby Watson among many others.

Dexter Williams is an upright bass player living in San Francisco, California whose style is heavily informed by traditional jazz, swing, gypsy jazz, and bebop. He was immersed in the world of jazz from an early age and consequently took to music naturally, learning violin at age 6 and guitar at age 11. Finally in high school band, he took on upright bass and shortly after developed a love for jazz, starting to play his first professional gigs at age 16. Since then, he has dedicated his time to broadening his understanding of different styles of jazz, working on rhythmically and harmonically supporting a band, and all the while dialing in his technical ability on the upright bass.

Dexter currently makes his living performing locally with a wide range of bay area artists as well as traveling for interstate and international music festivals. Lately, he has been immersing himself in the world of gypsy jazz and playing consistently with The Hot Club of San Francisco and Le Jazz Hot, committing himself to melding with the group and learning its repertoire. His sound has been described as highly lyrical and melodic, showing a deep familiarity with the styles and vocabulary of jazz.

Learn more at HotClubSF.com

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Proof of vaccination is no longer required for Covid-19. Masking is optional and masks are available upon request. The California Jazz Conservatory kindly requests that anyone feeling unwell refrain from attending in-person events of any kind.