A STYLISH combination of gypsy jazz and hot swing is coming to town.

Five-piece band La Vie en Rose will play Bridport Arts Centre on Friday, December 6 at 8pm.

One of the band’s two guitarists, Laurie Light, waxes lyrical when asked to explain more about the music: “The heartfelt wail of the blues, the sultry heat of the campfire, the crazy swirl of the bal musette, all fused together with virtuosity and passion in the melting pot of 1930s Paris; and the result was gypsy jazz.”

La Vie en Rose play this exuberant, toe-tapping music with a swing and joie-de-vivre as fresh today as when Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli first conjured it from the back streets of Pigalle.

The five musicians in the band have wide ranging individual backgrounds in trad jazz, rock, blues, country, classical music, ragtime and roots, pulled together by the shared pleasure of gypsy jazz and hot swing.

Clarinettist Nick White has had a career with diverse groups including the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and the Big Chris Barber Band.

Guitarist Laurie Light is amused to point out that he is the only member of the band who was around while Django Reinhardt was still alive! His love of swing and jazz stemmed from listening to Radio Luxembourg, and a father who crooned in the working men’s clubs of the West Midlands. The band’s other guitarist, David Jones, has performed alongside the likes of legendary Dutch gypsy swing guitar master Lollo Meier and been featured at festivals such as March Manouche.

Violinist Rebecca Willson studied gypsy jazz violin with Tim Kliphuis and plays in varied projects ranging from the Obligato String Quartet through a wide musical spectrum to hillbilly and western swing.

Yann Mahdjoub on double bass has recorded three albums on the esteemed Western Star record label with the Bonneville Barons and has toured and released an acclaimed album with western swing band the Zazou Cowboys . His musical interests led naturally towards gypsy jazz and are clearly heard in his strongly rythymic and driving playing style.

*La Vie en Rose, Friday, December 6, 8pm, Bridport Arts Centre,Bridport. Tickets cost £12. Contact the box office for tickets.