April 24, 2008


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Gypsy jazz at the Farm
Ameranouche headlines the Hollis Art Gala
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

Next weekend offers one of the few public opportunities to view what happens at the Dream Farm in Hollis. Most of the time, because of the area’s zoning, the music performances at the Dream Farm are private.

Ameranouche!!! is the headlining act of the Dream Farm production at the Hollis Arts Galla next Sunday, May 2. They’re a gypsy jazz trio from the Seacoast. A band for five years, they travel across the country, working to bring more love to gypsy jazz.

“We’re not divas. We just want to communicate this music to people,” said Rich Sheppard, the group’s lead guitarist. “We want to put this music out in the best possible way. The thing about this music that’s so amazing is it has an inviting essence that allows people to connect to it immediately.”

Gypsy jazz originated in France, and Django Reinhardt was one of its main promoters. In Europe, it’s often called jazz manouche.

The band started five years ago, but two of the three current members joined the band since then. Currently, they band is recording a new album and getting ready for a tour.

“It’s a really relaxed atmosphere,” Sheppard said about performing at the Dream Farm. “It’s a pretty far out scene.”

This public performance is at the Lawrence Barn Community in Hollis. The Julie Lavender Quintet will also play. Lavender is working on her third album, which is due out later this spring. She is the creator of the Dream Farm, which normally hosts functions through private invitations only.

The Hollis Arts Gala starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and opens again at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. At 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sheli Petersen, associate professor of art at Rivier College, an illustrator of children’s books, will give a lecture on the history of illustrations.

The jazz starts on Sunday at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.