About Gypsy Jazz
Gypsy jazz (also known as gypsy swing or hot club jazz) is a style of jazz music generally accepted to have been started by the guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt in and around Paris in the 1930s. Because its origins are in France and Django was from the Manouche gypsy clan (although his frequent accompanists, and later solo performers/band leaders the Ferret brothers were not Manouches but Gitan gypsies) it is often called by the French name, "jazz manouche", or alternatively, "manouche jazz", even in English language sources. The term is now commonly used for this style of music.
About Swing 512
Swing 512 is a gypsy jazz/"hot jazz" band from Austin, Texas, in the style of Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli. The band was put together by violinist Liz Mallett, and guitarists Matt Montoya and Saul Hernandez, all of whom came from classical backgrounds before discovering an interest in jazz. With the addition of upright bass, the band features fast-paced and intricate improvisation over the swing manouche sound that characterized Django in Paris. Influences range from Django, to more modern gypsy jazz players such as Adrien Moignard, to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and more.
About the Musicians
Liz Adrienne Mallett began studying classical violin and viola at the age of 9 in the San Francisco Bay area, under the tutelage of Carole Mayedo, along with special instruction from Zoya Leybin and Don Ehrlich of the San Francisco Symphony. After moving to Houston to attend Rice University, Liz now resides in Austin and plays in a diverse array of bands and ensembles, across many genres.
Matt Montoya has been playing guitar since he was in the 5th grade, and has a degree in Music Performance from Texas State University. While his degree focused on Classical Guitar, he also likes to play Rock, Flamenco, Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Blues, and other various Latin styles of guitar. Along with performing, Matt teaches guitar and jazz studies.
Saul Hernandez studied classical guitar performance at Texas State University. Along with classical guitar, he enjoys playing jazz and gypsy jazz music, and has performed with a variety of ensembles throughout Austin and San Marcos.
Derek Thigpen studied music at Texas State. He plays upright bass and saxohone with jazz bands across town.