Hot Club of San Francisco’s Beatlemania

Celebrated Gypsy jazz artists explore music of The Beatles Feb. 15 in Billings

On Stage

The Hot Club of San Francisco celebrates songwriting of The Beatles with music from their album John Paul George & Django at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings.

The album, released in 2016, was lauded as “a ravishing and consistently revelatory reimagining of classic Beatles tunes … designed both to seduce Beatlephiles and enchant Djangologists, with arrangements that serve the songs rather than turning them into vehicles for blazing solos.”

This ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians borrows the instrumentation of violin, bass, and guitars from Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Quintette du Hot Club de France. To hear them live or on any of their 13 albums is to be carried back to the tight, smoky jazz clubs of 1930’s Paris and to the refined lounge of the famous Hotel Ritz.

Innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group’s superb lead guitarist, Paul Mehling, bring this style of music, often called Gypsy Jazz, to modern audiences. Featuring the silken violin of twice Grammy awarded Evan Price, the velvet vocals of Isabelle Fontaine, and a swinging rhythm section, The Hot Club of San Francisco never fails to surprise and delight.

Acoustic Guitar has hailed the group’s playing as “intricate, scorching and often brilliant.” With frequent national and international tours – from Iceland to Lincoln Center and the Monterey Jazz Festival – The Hot Club of San Francisco has kept this historic music fresh and alive for more than 25 years.

This performance by The Hot Club of San Francisco is part of the theater’s Orser Outstanding Performances Series. Tickets are $42, $30 and $22 for students with valid I.D., and are available at the Alberta Bair Theater Box Office on the corner of 3rd Ave N. and N. Broadway, by phone at 406-256-6052 (box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) and/or online at