Mango fan Django
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Mango fan Django

Manitou Springs, Colorado, United States

Manitou Springs, Colorado, United States
Band Jazz World


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Mango gets joints a-jumpin'"

Mango Fan Django
By Linda Navarro, The Gazette

Personnel: Archtop Eddy, guitar and vocals; Don Doucette, guitar and vocals; John Cabanellas, bass.

Style: A blend of Gypsy jazz, 1930s and ’40s swing, calypso and jump blues.

Influences: Django Reinhardt, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Louis Jordan, Louis Prima, Nat King Cole and contemporary European Gypsy jazz musicians.

What the live show is like:

Eddy paints a picture of “sitting at a pre-WWII bistro in Paris and hearing the new music of the day — Hot Swing and Jazz!”

Favorite places to play: “Any laid-back restaurant, club or coffee house where music plays a premium role in the ambiance of the establishment,” Eddy says. “We like to play at places where people can sit back and really enjoy the music. We think we have something for them to hear, and we like it when they can be a part of that experience.”

CDs: “Virtual Tourist” released in 2000 (without clarinet); and “Super Sampler Platter,” a set of live music.

On the Web:

Band history: The name is “a wink and a nod in every direction,” Eddy says. It’s “Mango” for the island and reggae connection. It’s “fan Django” because they’re all fans of Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, and because it sounds like the dance fandango.

Archtop Eddy is the founder and only original member of the group that started in 1998 “and is in its fourth iteration of personnel.” He played with a variety of local groups, including the reggae band Raku in the early 1980s. Lenoir’s local following has been with her since the 1970s, when she was with the local swing band Caldonia. Doucette has specialized in a variety of styles ranging from folk and acoustic to rhythm and blues. Cabanellas played bass with local groups including Wooden Spoon and B Positive.

What “making it” would look like: They’d be on stage at Festival de jazz Django Reinhardt in Samois-sur-Seine, France.

Until then, Eddy would like to stir up “enough attention and excitement about Gypsy jazz to provide an opportunity for an internationally renowned Gyspy jazz guitarist such as Stochelo Rosenberg or Bireli Lagrene to play in the Springs.”

Most jazz moment: When the group played to packed crowds at the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society’s anniversary and in a Black Rose Acoustic Society showcase. “We’ve had some fun Broadmoor gigs too,” Eddy says.

Take on the Springs music scene: It’s better than it’s been in years, Eddy says. “What’s changed is that people don’t necessarily go to nightclubs these days to hear live music. Restaurants with upscale bars and coffee houses are the new ‘music scene.’”

CONTACT THE WRITER: Hey, local bands! If you would like to be considered for a feature in Band Spotlight and you have local gigs booked, call 636-0374 or e-mail

- Colorado Springs Gazette

"Swingin' Into the Big Time"

by Malcolm Howard

Mango fan Django
Virtual Tourist
Archtop Eddy Records

Ever since bursting on the scene last year as the area's only trio dedicated to guitar-focused, French gypsy jazz, Mango fan Django members have been handing out CDs the group has burned of informal studio and live concert sessions.

But, now, the three-piece string band has released its first official, in-the-studio-for-real-this-time CD, titled after an original tune by guitarist Ed Parsons called "Virtual Tourist," a catchy reggae instrumental bit laced with a certain jazzy je ne sais quoi.

The 13-cut recording shows not only an expanded repertoire of classics from French gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt -- the group's inspiration and specialty -- it reveals that the group is maturing rapidly into one of the areas hottest local swing groups.

Though the band is not as fluid or virtuosic as some of the great gypsy-jazz groups of Europe and America's larger cities, Virtual Tourist shows that Mango fan Django is a serious candidate for the position of Rocky Mountain rep for the sound of the Hot Club de Paris (the club where Django brought gypsy jazz to world attention in the 1930s).

More importantly, this is just really fun, beautifully played music that will make you dance as you mop the kitchen floor, clean the basement or vacuum the cobwebs off the living-room ceiling.

If everyone on the LA freeways listened to this music, traffic would flow at a consistent 55 mph, and motorists would leave a full, five car-lengths between them and the car up ahead. They would smile and slow down as they waved fellow motorists to take the place in front of them.

Though Django can play bluesy, relective pieces, his music is mostly known for its unapologetic joyousness. The few originals that grace the CD -- from guitarists Alain Le Lait and Ed Parsons -- add to the good humor.

Consider these deep thoughts from Parsons' "Jive Jive Jive":

Long ago Neanderthal
was hunting for woolly mo
skipped a beat between his feet
poking a stick into his joe
Took it home to neanderwoman
Who dried it in the sun
dropped it in the manus stew
and man they were having fun

Le Lait comes on board with a jumpy instrumental called "Utma the Humming Poodle," as well as a nicely harmonized tune in French called "Margarita," a Spanish and Caribbean-influenced tune that sounds like it came out of Hollywood circa 1943.

Like much of the retro-swing emerging in the last decade, the music harkens back to a time when radios had tubes, and overdressed guys and gals held each other close when they danced.

Luckily, unlike many retro swing bands of the day, these guys don't overdo it with the shtick, focusing more on the music than hats and hair cream.

On bass, Gerard Rouvenacht pushes the beat through clever arpeggios and scales with both speed and tone, showing he's come a long way since throwing himself fully behind the stand-up acoustic only about a year ago.

Rouvenacht has also mastered the art of the slurred glissando, sliding from downbeat to downbeat with wonderful affect. Meanwhile, both Le Lait and Parsons have improved both the clarity and expressiveness of their melodic lines, which were pretty darn good to begin with.

This is particularly true on slower tunes, such as Django's "Anouman," a relatively new piece for this group. All three musicians play sensitively, but they keep a certain crisp edge, revelling in their dynamic range and avoiding the kind of watered down, even-toned sound that many gypsy-jazz groups seem to think is desirable.

But even people who don't know much about gypsy jazz will like this locally produced CD. I was already a big fan of MFD before this CD; now I've just got one more reason to sing their praises. - Colorado Springs Independent

"Longmont Swing Festival II: Gypsy Rendezvous!"

Longmont Swing Festival: Gypsy Rendezvous!
Roosevelt Park Pavilion
725 8th Avenue
July 7, 2007
Noon to Nine

Gypsies are converging on Longmont, Colorado—gypsy jazz musicians, that is. On July 7 Longmont’s own gypsy swing band, the Hot Club of Boulder, will present Longmont Swing Festival II: A Gypsy Rendezvous. The festival will be an all day affair showcasing six gypsy swing bands from the Colorado Front Range.
Gypsy swing is string band jazz with a Continental flavor. The style originated in the early 1930’s with the French gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli. Together they blended elements of French chanson and musette with American jazz, creating a new kind of music known in Europe as jazz manouche, or gypsy jazz. The result was a new kind of swing music both exquisitely melodic and intensely aggressive.
Django Reinhardt was a guitarist of unparalleled brilliance whose playing has been studied by every jazz guitarist since. Although Django was seriously injured in a fire as a young man, crippling the third and fourth fingers of his left hand, he overcame his handicap and developed new chord positions that gave his music a distinctive sound. Grappelli was a violinist who could match Django note for note; their communication seemed to be telepathic. Together they formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. In the heyday of big bands, the instrumentation of Django’s group consisted of violin, lead guitar, two rhythm guitars, and standup bass. The Quintet was enormously popular in France, and was the first European jazz group to be broadcast live in the US via transatlantic radio, on the CBS Saturday Night Swing Club on June 12, 1937. Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan and other American jazz luminaries appeared on the same program.
Django died of a cerebral accident in 1953 at the age of 43, but his music lived on. Gypsy children today begin learning to play guitar and violin at the age of 6 or 8, when their hands are large enough to fret their instruments. In gypsy caravans in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands accomplished adult players drill these children on chords and arpeggios, teaching them to play Django’s music note for note. When they’re old enough they’re sent out on the street to play for tips all day, every day. By the time these young gypsies reach adulthood they have played for thousands of hours and have developed chops that other guitarists can only dream of. The modern players are virtually unknown in the US, except to those who play, or aspire to play this music themselves. Among aficionados their names are spoken with awe and reverence: Stochelo Rosenberg, Bireli Lagrene, Dorado Schmitt, Angelo Debarre. The best American jazz and bluegrass guitarists—even the fastest metal shredders–have nothing on these cats.
The guitars used to play this music are as unique as the music itself. There are two styles of gypsy jazz guitars. The 1932 model, designed by Mario Maccaferri and manufactured by the Selmer company, had a very light top, a large D shaped soundhole or “grand bouche). and an internal resonator–a rosewood box attached to the top bracing under the soundhole. These guitars are today referred to as “Maccaferris”. In 1934 the Selmer company introduced another model with a small oval shaped soundhole (petit bouche) and a longer scale. This guitar, now known as the Selmer style, is the instrument that Django favored, while his rhythm players continued to play the Maccaferri style guitars. Both styles of guitars utilize a unique kind of guitar string, steel handwrapped in copper, and dipped in silver. Manouche strings are about 20% lighter than modern “light gauge” guitar strings.
Here in the US gypsy swing has a small but devoted fan base. There are only a handful of groups with a national following: the Hot Club of San Francisco and Seattle’s Pearl Django are probably the best known. But there are ‘Hot Clubs’ in Minnesota, Tennessee, Oregon, New Mexico, and across the country.
On the Colorado Front Range there is a high concentration of gypsy jazz groups. These groups grew out of an extended jam scene in which players might drive a hundred miles to spend a Sunday afternoon jamming with other Djangophiles. Over time the participants in these jams coalesced into bands, and the “djam” scene withered away.
Deco Django from Louisville features David Williams on solo guitar, Bill Pontarelli on clarinet, and Emily Reynolds on rhythm guitar and vocals. (Pontarelli also plays with Pete Wernick in Flexigrass.) Williams and Pontarelli are both marvelous soloists, and Emily is well known from Colorado to Washington state for her solid rhythm playing and excellent vocals. Deco Django’s new CD, “Django Jazz”, is available from CDBaby. com.
Blue Horizon, a Longmont band, features Zach Bergen on lead guitar. Zach’s chops are second to none; he has performed several times with Australian guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel. Peter Levine is the second guitarist and lead vocalist. Bassist Frank Tonge sings harmony. Blue Horizon’s virtuoso mandolinist, Dan Ault, will not be available for the festival, so the legendary Charlie Provenza will be sitting in.
The Hot Club of Boulder has been playing swing dances, community events, and coffee houses in Boulder County for several years. Longmont guitarist and vocalist Barron Beshoar is the leader of HCB, and the organizer of the swing festival. Guitarist Dan Hankin of Boulder toured and recorded with Tim Hardin in the sixties. Rhythm guitarist Bud Hivner is a veteran of northern Colorado big bands. Bassist Jim Dailey is a former member of Fort Collins’ Hot Club Katz. Drummer David Rugenstein has a long resume that includes a stint with Blue Horizon. Hot Club du Boulder is currently getting airplay on Radio Canal Bleu, 94.3 FM, Lavergne, France
The Cottonwood Club is based in Littleton. Mark Mortensen and Kevin Yost handle the guitars. Sandy Yost plays bass and sings. The Cottonwood Club features the amazing Brian Ereek on the 8 string dobro, an instrument rare in the worlds of jazz and swing.
Paris Swing Set is violinist Laurie Dunklee, guitarist Ken Lutes, and guitarist/bassist Jim Woodson. Ken and Laurie host occassional jams in Denver that include members of most of the other groups appearing at this festival.
Longmont accordianist Dan Tulenko will stroll through the audience between sets playing musette, waltzes, and chanson–what most of us know as French cafe music.
Headlining the festival is Mango Fan Django, led by Archtop Eddy of Colorado Springs. Ed has traveled extensively to gypsy jazz festivals in Europe, and is personally acquainted with most of the contemporary European gypsy players; his Selmer style guitar bears the autographs of dozens of them. Eddy is also an accomplished archtop player, as his name suggests. Mango Fan Django’s music is a heady mixture of jazz manouche, Benny Goodman and Charlie Christian tunes, and calypso.
Don’t miss this unique musical event! And don’t forget your dancin’ shoes!
Schedule and updates at - Boulder Daily Camera


Virtual Tourist (CD)
Django's Lunchbox (CD)
Virtually Live at Rico's (CD)
Music For Those About to Get Hitched (CD)
Nothing but the Best! (CD)
Swingin' with Santa (CD)
Surfin' Djangos -- Go Man GO!! (CD)
Chile, Coffee and Roadshows
- Live at New Mexico Djangofest (CD)
Collage (CD)

Receives airplay on KRCC 91.5 FM in Colorado Springs, KHEN 106.9 FM Salida, and KGNU 88.5 FM in Boulder



Listening to Mango fan Django is like sitting at a pre-WWII bistro in Paris and hearing the new music of day -- Hot Swing and Jazz! However, they're also much more than that. Mango fan Django's wide-ranging influences include Django Reinhardt, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, great American songwriters and contemporary European Gyspy jazz musicians. Mango fan Django plays listening, toe-tapping, and dance music all rolled into one. "We like to play at places where people can sit back and really enjoy the music," said Archtop Eddy. "We think we have something for them to hear, and we like it when they can be a part of that experience."