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Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble Plays UUFDC

Caravan Gypsy SwingAuthentic Gypsy Jazz from the Midwest returns to Door County on Saturday, May 10, 7 pm at the UU Fellowship. The performance will conclude with a complimentary reception and a chance to meet the musicians. Admission is just $10; reservations are accepted at or 845-7559.

Caravan is an instrumental group based out of Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. The ensemble also pulls influences from jazz, swing, traditional Latin, Parisian waltzes, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the “Hot Swing” repertoire, originals and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.

The idea for Caravan started in early 2002 when Chris Ruppenthal, the group’s leader and an aspiring jazz guitarist, first heard recordings of Dutch Gypsy Jazz guitarist Jimmy Rosenberg who played in the Reinhardt style. Chris soon turned away from the American Bebop style of jazz guitar to follow in the long shadow of Django and was inspired to seek out fellow Gypsy Swing enthusiasts.

Caravan has had substantial experience with live performance in a broad range of settings including concert halls, festivals, night clubs, and corporate/private events. They have had a wide variety of live radio experience including numerous appearances on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Higher Ground with Jonathan Overby.” Highlights of Caravan’s festival and concert experience include performances at Madison’s Overture Center, The Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival, The Isthmus Jazz Festival, Summer Sizzle Festival, and three years in a row at The Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival.

Caravan has become an experienced, seasoned group with a unique sound and a diverse repertoire even within the Gypsy Jazz genre. Although the music of Django Reinhardt it still at the core of the band they have learned to take Gypsy Swing music in a broad range of directions.