Tucson Jazz Festival
Tatiana Eva-Marie to bring Django jazz to Tucson stage
Avalon Jazz Band performs '30s-inspired songs
A trans-Atlantic performer with golden pipes will take the Hotel Congress Plaza stage next Wednesday as part of the 2023 Tucson Jazz Festival.
Tatiana Eva-Marie and Avalon Jazz Band will play music inspired by jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt.
Singer Eva-Marie will be accompanied by Gabe Terracciano on violin, Dennis Pol and Vinny Raniolo on archtop guitars, and Wallace Stelzer on upright bass.
The Swiss-born performer is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the group plays in different clubs in the city, and tours around the country.
Their show is based on Eva-Marie's latest project titled "Djangology," inspired by the 1930s compositions of Romani-Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.
His work was all instrumental, a blend of the jazz coming over from the United States and the instruments and sounds of his own Roma heritage.
He is credited for the invention of "gypsy jazz." She felt inspired by his music and explored it by writing her own lyrics to it.
"It is like a collaboration with him, although he is dead," Eva-Marie said. "I just imagined he wrote them for me."
Eva-Marie was born in Switzerland to an artistic family full of musicians, poets and painters. Her mother plays the violin, and Eva-Marie found herself growing up in the arts. Aside from being a singer, she took acting lessons and developed her theatre skills until she had written and directed two musicals.
"I was basically destined to pursue a career in arts," Eva-Marie said. "It almost felt like I didn't have a choice, but I really can't see myself doing anything else."
She said had a fascination with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe as well as 1930s Paris, with a love for a time long past.
Eva-Marie's affection for Paris came from the culture that bloomed from a time of chaos — the limbo between the two world wars.
The United States was experiencing the throes of Prohibition. People from different countries flocked to Paris to escape the hard times at home.
The French capital became a crossroads that attracted authors, painters, playwrights, dancers, poets and everyone and anyone who wanted a good time.
Although the '30s are gone, Eva-Marie still felt called to the City of Lights since she was a young girl. She knew she wanted to live in Paris as a teenager, but the only way her mother would allow her was if she got into a university.
She moved to France to attend the Sorbonne University and pursued a Master's degree in medieval studies.
"I love transition times in history," Eva-Marie said. "And the 1930s were a time of transition. And during that time, there were no rules in Paris. People could go and drink and have a good time."
For Eva-Marie, jazz is a kind of music that is universal. She said that regardless of the common assumption that jazz is for the highly educated or elite, it is a genre of music that brings people together.
Tickets for the show cost $28 through Dice or $30 at the door. The performance will take place at the Hotel Congress Plaza on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
Bianca Morales is TucsonSentinel.com’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.