by Pat Moran
French-born guitarist/composer Stephane Wrembel follows in the footsteps of Gypsy musical genius Django Reinhardt, the Romani who revolutionized jazz and guitar playing in general. Though classically trained, Wrembel spent his youth learning guitar in Gypsy camps. There he acquired the dexterity, speed and percussive down-stroke picking pioneered by the legendary Reinhardt. As Wrembel mastered the Master’s style, the mainstream beckoned, most notably when Woody Allen hired Wrembel to compose “Bisto Fada,” the title theme for Midnight in Paris. Swinging, melodic and romantic, Gypsy jazz has a growing cadre of fans. Those fans were aghast when Wrembel began to strike out on his own, reaching far beyond the traditions of Manouche guitar. Nowadays, Wrembel draws on rock aggression, Middle Eastern tonalities and Japanese influences as well as Gypsy swing. Favoring dramatic juxtapositions and abrupt tempo shifts, Wrembel admits that he’s all over the map — a musical impressionist, composing with an ever-shifting picture in mind. As Wrembel likes to say, he plays “in the light of Django, instead of his shadow”. Call him Django unchained. $15-$20. Nov. 10, 8 p.m. Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. 704-377-6874.