Van Django is an acoustic string ensemble made up of four of Canada's most talented and eclectic musicians; violinist Cameron Wilson, guitarist Budge Schachte, guitarist/cellist Finn Manniche and bassist Brent Gubbels. Van Django's music is punchy, driving and rhythmically inventive, combining a wealth of musical influences while maintaining their roots in the gypsy jazz made famous by the 1930's Quintet of the Hot Club of France.
"Van Django tosses off jaw-dropping technical licks with effortless ease, but above all, they entertain hugely, with every bar of every tune tried and true or keenly original." - Jurgen Goethe, Host, CBC Disc Drive - Canada
Ari Lahdekorpi is what might be considered a journeyman guitarist. He has worked in most of the fields of the music business. He has been a full time session musician, a producer, a film score composer, a sideman for various artists, and a solo artist. CBC radio included Ari on their list of Canada's unsung guitar gurus, and he has been featured in Guitar World Magazine. He has worked with Blues legends, Pinetop Perkins, Bo Diddley, and Eddie Shaw, along with pop crooners, Frankie Laine, Bobby Vinton, and Denny Dougherty of the Mamas and Papas. Ari has also worked with Paul Shaffer of the David Letterman show and SNL fame.
Although he was born in Finland, Ari Lahdekorpi plays in the tradition known as American Primitivism. This is a fingerstyle guitar genre that is based on country blues and the string band music of the twenties and thirties. Ari follows in the footsteps of players like John Fahey, Peter Lang, and Robbie Basho, among others. Although the music is rooted in tradition, Ari brings elements of jazz, blues, and country into the mix.
About forty years of playing fingerstyle guitar have taken Kent Hillman through a vast repertoire of country, jazz, classical and South American Music. The influences of Lenny Breau and Chet Atkins along with many jazz pianists can be heard in his performances and arrangements.
"... this eclectic program of material is bound together by Hillman's consistently masterful and expressive guitar work." Ron Forbes-Roberts, Acoustic Guitar Magazine
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