Gypsy jazz artists swing through Montana

Violinist Tim Kliphuis and guitarist Alfonso Ponticelli visit four Montana towns April 14-19

New & Notable

Award-winning violin legend Tim Kliphuis (Holland) teams up with America’s top Gypsy jazz guitarist, Alfonso Ponticelli (Chicago) to highlight the music of famed musical duo Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Catch them April 14 in Billings, April 15 in Bozeman, April 17 in Helena and April 19 in Missoula.

Gypsy jazz with Montana Manouche
Montana Manouche performs for a swing dance following the concert in Bozeman.

Re-creating the 1930s in Paris, and drawing inspiration from current-day Gypsy, classical and folk music as well, they alternate moments of dazzling interplay with melancholy and sheer exhilaration, in an inspired journey that is different every night.

“Superb … a provocative meeting of minds,” writes the Sunday Times.

Tim Kliphuis is a master of the violin and a wizard of sound. Using classical, Gypsy jazz and folk he has created a unique style that is making waves in concert halls across the globe. His recent successes have led to a Sony Classical recording contract and a performance for the Dutch monarchs.

He has shared the stage with legends Frankie Gavin, Richard Galliano and Les Paul and has been lauded for his musical genius by Nigel Kennedy. He was awarded the Scottish Jazz Award (International), has collaborated with the Richard Strauss Festival, Netherlands and Tallinn Chamber Orchestras, the Cape Town Philharmonic and curates the Fiddles on Fire Festival in Rotterdam

Guitarist Alfonso Ponticelli is the driving force of gypsy jazz in the city of Chicago. He has performed with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, played for a crowd of 10,000 at Millennium Park on its opening night and is the recipient of the Leonardo da Vinci award for outstanding achievement in performing arts.

His guitar style effortlessly combines Gypsy, flamenco (which he studied in Cordoba, Spain with Manolo Sanlucár), traditional American folk (he is also the 1994 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion) and jazz. Ponticelli has appeared at the international Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois-sur-Seine, France, the Iridium Jazz Club in New York and a host of Gypsy jazz festivals all over the USA, including his own Chicago festival.

Montana Manouche joins the duo for their Bozeman performance on April 15, providing music for a post-concert swing dance. The quartet began in 2012, when bluegrass musicians Ray Padilla (rhythm guitar) and Nancy Padilla (violin) from Bozeman, started getting together to play Gypsy Jazz tunes with Livingston jazz guitarist Dave Sullivan. Their casual “just for fun” jamming led to local gigs. With Bozeman jazz bassist Mike Carey adding his great groove to the group’s swinging sound, Montana Manouche enjoys an increasingly active performing schedule, playing concerts, private events, and swing dances. They play a few original tunes, but their repertoire consists mainly of the compositions of Django Reinhardt and his American contemporaries.

Tim Kliphuis & Alfonso Ponticelli Gypsy Jazz Tour

Billings: 7 p.m. April 14 at Cisel Hall, MSU Billings; call 406-539-2203 or find the event on Facebook.

Bozeman: 8 p.m. April 15 at The Rialto; the concert is followed by a swing dance with music by Montana Manouche.

Helena: 7 p.m. April 15 at Free Ceramics; call 406-539-2203 or head to

Missoula: 7 p.m. April 19 at Longstaff House; email [email protected]