Manière des Bohémiens play energetic and improvised Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli influenced Gypsy Jazz and Eastern European swing. They are the most debauched, ecstatic and downright amazing live band you will have seen for a long while.
Gypsy jazz played with the jaunty abandon of a misspent youth and a broken heart arranged for 6 young virtuoso musicians who travel around playing the violin, guitar, sax and double bass whilst dipping in and out of Parisian alleyways and absorbing pieces of the colourful lives they meet along the way. They have been entertaining the folks of Nottingham and far beyond for many years with their infectious blend of improvised, manouche jazz and rough-edged, virtuosic eastern-european gypsy-folk music.
“For one night only in our fair city of Nottingham, I was temporarily transported to a basement bar in a Parisien ghetto when I went to see Maniere Des Bohemiens at the Cafe Bar Contemporary. Inspired by the likes of Django Reinhardt and Duke Ellington, Maniere Des Bohemiens have jazz in their blood and gypsy fire in their soul, producing improvised gypsy swing that is as passionate as it is skillfully played, which was truly exhilarating.
Their renditions of traditional gypsy-folk tunes, jazz/swing standards and little-known gems took the set from slow, emotive numbers to raptuous and highly charged upbeat tunes. Rosa’s violin playing, which is almost entirely improvised and technically outstanding, captured the audience’s attention with every flick of his bow but did not overshadow the skill of the rhythm section.
Everything was in the true spirit of improv jazz, from the bass solo breakdowns to the unspoken communication between the musicians which steered each song through undulating sections and captivating solos. They are well schooled in the etiquette and deep-set traditions of their genre, but their interpretations incorporating French swing and Eastern-European gypsy-folk were refreshing and exciting. To see an audience go from fairly non-plussed at the start of the set, to quickly realising what fantastic music they were lucky enough to be listening to, to straight-up attempting to swing dance and crying out for more by the end was really something.
The night as a whole was a right good frolic, full of dancing, merriment and music that would have made the old masters proud.”
Formed through a mutual love of gathering round warm festival bonfires and improvising, Maniére des Bohémiens spent many hours working together on the distinctive swing sound and many more on learning the melodies and developing them through improvisation.
Manière des Bohémiens’ current line-up of Rob Rosa – Violin, Roger Rosa & Rob Coates – Guitars, Peter Beardsworth – Sax, Matt Marks – Accordion and Mark Houlgate/Catherine Jones – Bass have now collectively played over 300 shows which has created a tight, energetic sound which has made people get up on their feet up and down the land.
Last year was another huge step forwards for the band with a clutch of festival appearances including Boomtown, Port Eliot Literary Festival and Elderflower Festival. They’ve also appeared at Bestival, Camp Bestival, Summer Sundae, Matt & Phreds, Kendal Calling, Limetree, Headstock, Larmer Tree, Towersey Folk and Fire in the Mountain to name a few. They are regularly the headline act at their hometown Nottingham gigs and have also had support slots for Jools Holland, Polar Bear and Quantic. They’ve been played on 6 music several times and have been included on Tom Robinson’s ‘best of Introducing’ podcast.
Manière des Bohémiens continue to play regularly, gaining new followers as they go and introducing improvised gypsy-jazz to a new, younger generation. Manière des Bohémiens are available to play gigs at pubs, bars, cafes, festivals, weddings, busking spots, executions, bris milahs, etc…