Big screen musician to play on Union's campus

Published on
March 14, 2012
Gypsy-jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel is slated for a one-night performance at Union College.

Gypsy-jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel, well known in Hollywood thanks to Woody Allen, is scheduled to play at a small venue later this month when he makes a stop at Union College for his only Kentucky performance.

Wrembel, who has composed music for two of Allen's films, will perform live with his band on March 21 at Union College's Conway Boatman Chapel. This free concert begins at 7:30 PM and is open to the public. This is his only concert in Kentucky on this tour.

Wrembel composed the theme music for Woody Allen's film "Midnight in Paris," which recently won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Wrembel describes this song, "Bistro Fada," as a piece of music that "captures the spirit and magic of Paris." The success of this score, as well as the movie, led to him to the Red Carpet for an appearance at this year's Oscars ceremony last month.

Wrembel's music also appeared on the soundtrack for Allen's Golden Globe winner "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

Aside from composing for Woody Allen films, Wrembel has had many other notable career successes. He has performed live alongside famous artists such as Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith, and has played before a packed house at the Lincoln Center.

Dr. Jim Rubin, chairman of the arts and culture committee at Union College, is credited with bringing Wrembel to campus. After attending a concert, he approached Wrembel and inquired about the possibility of scheduling a performance at Union College. Wrembel was excited about the idea of playing in a small town in Kentucky, Rubin said, adding that those who attend will be blown away by the performance.

"Kentucky will get a rare treat, hearing from one of the truly great up-and-coming Gypsy-jazz guitarists," Rubin said. "His level of energy and creativity in a live performance will astound all who have the pleasure of attending."

The style of music he plays is thought to have originated in the early 1930s with the music of Django Reinhardt. Gypsy-jazz, as it is called, combines the feel of American jazz with the dark Gypsy rhythms of Paris.

Wrembel picked up this style early in life. As a teenager living in Fontainebleau, he was able to hear first-hand the music of the Gypsies. He spent time studying, playing and learning this style, along with traveling to Gypsy campfires and playing along with them.