Martin Taylor's gypsy gene

Jan 18, 2011

Martin Taylor is widely considered to be one of today’s finest solo jazz guitarists. While still in his early 20’s, he was introduced to the world’s jazz audience as the guitarist with Stephane Grappelli, a gypsy-jazz violinist and co-founder (along with Django Reinhardt) of the Quintette du Hot Club de France. 

But Martin’s familiarity with gypsy music goes all the way back to his childhood in Scotland. As you’ll hear in this interview, Taylor’s father was descended from Romany (gypsy) stock so Martin grew up surrounded by gypsy music and traditions.  

On a recent visit to Seattle, Martin teamed up with Pearl Django, the Northwest’s premier gypsy jazz quintet, for a few nightclub gigs and a visit to the KPLU/Jazz 24 studios.  

Taylor was obviously enjoying taking a trip back to his gypsy-jazz roots and the members of Pearl Django were thrilled to accompany him.

You can listen to and see performances from past KPLU Studio Sessions, including Roy Hargrove, Irma Thomas, Manhattan Transfer and Nikki Yanofsky. Coming up:  Jackie Terrasson Trio, Vijay Iyer Trio and pianist Benny Green.