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Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival

tincuptincup Madison, WINew
edited September 2011 in CD, DVD, and Concert Reviews Posts: 27

I'm just a fan, a huge fan of Gypsy Swing music. I'm lucky to live in Madison, WI and that means a lot of Gypsy Swing every fourth weekend in August. It's a six years old tradition to have the Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival, and I want to share it with you. You may be a fan like I am, or you are a gypsy guitar swinger experienced or a beginner. Any way you can plan and mark your calendar to join us next August.

Kevin & Robin Nolan, Alfonso Ponticelli, Sims Delaney-Potthoff, Toni Balog, Jason Anick

Festival started six years ago on the farm south of Madison, WI at the "Art in the barn", when the local band Harmonious Wail invited some friends to come, play together, and have fun. Since than the festival is growing every year. Unique setup on the farm allows the audience to interact with the bands, so all of us are like a big family. I was able to sit and talk with Alfonso, Gonzalo, Kevin, Toni, Sims, Chris, Robin ... add them into my facebook friends and keep the contact.

Here I am chating with Gonzalo Bergara and Kevin Nolan last year.

If you are a beginner on gypsy guitar you may join a workshop or any of numerous jams. It's a summer time and the weather is easy, fish are jumping ... and you can bring your guitar and a tent, and stay on the farm 3-4 days during the festival, enjoy the music, play around the campfire and gain new friends. For info about the next year festival contact, or visit web pages http:/ or

Workshop with Alfonso Ponticelli

Official Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest photographer, Kerry Hill, has posted shots of the fest here -

I have a few hours of videos from 2008 and 2009 Festival on my, or just check my blog Here I'll post a few videos just to show you the atmoshere at the festival. See you next year at the festival. Till than happy swinging :lol:

If I'm out of my mind, it's OK with me.
The Stuff I like - Gypsy Swing Samples


  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,406
    Fantastic shots and clips, Tin - many thanks for bringing back some great memories. Can't wait until next year.

    How did you get the aerial? Was that your kite-mounted camera I saw there, and is this how the first shot was taken (can't imagine where you'd shoot this from - looks like a true aerial, plane or ultralight)?

    Now that you have the shots, I'd like to ask anyone who can tell me...the first video clip, the gent to the right, in mottled black or grey and white shirt; Red shirt in the 3rd video - (that's me smiling at right, in the 3rd vid, in the blue a kid at a candy store......)...

    I was in this circle a good part of the day (second day - 3rd vid., I think)...this player was such a nice guy...I was playing alone in the a.m., and he just came up and asked if he could sit down with me, I blushed my newbie status, he smiled along the lines of "no worries," sat down and we just began to play...before I knew it, it had grown to a real crew, just an amazing experience. Tops for me had to be when all of us were on Bossa Dorado, something I'd only learned that morning, in Kevin Nolan's wonderful first time ever doing anything like this, and I unabashedly wanted to say thanks to everyone there, for such a great experience, and for being so welcoming to new players, like myself.

    This guy - Tin, is he "Jack?" - was an amazing player. From Boston, I think, forgotten his name...Tin, you know him? Anyone else? Would love to see what he's up to, when we head to New England.

    Thanks so much, again, Tincup.

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • tincuptincup Madison, WINew
    edited October 2009 Posts: 27
    This is just the begining. I still have another 6 hours of video to process and no time.

    Arial shot is not mine. It came from That guy is using kite with camera.


    Jack is a young and an excelent player. He has a music degree in gypsy guitar. You can ask Sims for Jac's contact. Just email him at Jack was born in Madison and grow up with Henry. Maggie talks about that in this family reunion video.

    If I'm out of my mind, it's OK with me.
    The Stuff I like - Gypsy Swing Samples
  • Caravan GSECaravan GSE Madison, WINew
    Posts: 60
    His name is Jack, and he is "Soref" on the djangobooks forum.

    Here is his great band Sinti Rhythm:

    Here we all are jamming the Thursday before the fest at my house! It was like 7 hours of eating, playing , and a few beers.

    This years fest was a really fun one. It was a pleasure to be a part of it. I think this one was my favorite so far. It seems each time that I make a bet that the coming years fest cant top the last one, I am always proved wrong. It is a great and intimate festival for sure.

    Here's to Sims!!! Organizer of a great fest!!! Thanks bud!

    Caravan GSE
    Chris Ruppenthal
    Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
  • Caravan GSECaravan GSE Madison, WINew
    Posts: 60
    Oh, by the way... thanks also to all those folks that have done such a great job archiving the festival!
    Chris Ruppenthal
    Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,406
    Cheers, Tin and Chris.

    Jack, if you're on the site, thanks for coming up, for being so friendly Saturday morning, and for your invite to play. Some awesome hours of music under the Wisconsin sky.

    Chris, Madison is looking more like home can you beat 10 minutes outside of "the city," views like Tin's shots above, and add to it such a vibrant scene....well, let's just say we'll keep it quiet if you lot admit one more FIB family back to their spiritual home... :wink:

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • SorefSoref Brookline, MA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 94
    Thanks Passacglia, for the kind words and playing, and thanks Tin for all your work filming. It was an absolutely wonderful weekend.

    I want to let everyone know this Saturday, Jazz Violin Phenom Jason Anick and I, will be playing the last set of the Brooklyn Djangology festival at the Jalopy theatre in Brooklyn. If you are anywhere near this festival you have to go. It's going to be great, Howard Alden, Ameranouche, Swing Caravan, and a number of other wonderful players and bands will be there!
    Djangology fest on Facebook:
    Djangology fest on Craigslist:
    Djangology fest on Djangobooks:

    Anyone traveling through Boston can see my band Sinti Rhythm every second Saturday of the month at Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge:
    Most of our other gigs are private functions, but any gigs we have should be listed here:
    (A small caveat regarding the tracks on the myspace page... those are a number of years old, so I'm sorry for the quality, we should have some new recordings from an upcoming EP on there this winter, so stay tuned!)

    I don't mean to go on and on, but Sims and Maggie are the best. They put on a wonderful festival. It was great to run into a couple familiar faces from Django in June, and play with old my friends from Wisconsin (check out Henry's solo on the Minor Swing video, hot!). Chris man, you guys are sounding fierce, the Swing Caravan set was great! It was also so great to hear and jam with Jason and Robin and Kevin and Gonzalo and Alphons and Tony. It was really a great weekend.
  • tincuptincup Madison, WINew
    Posts: 27
    2010 Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest is On
    Tickets are now on sale for the 7th annual Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest

    Aug 20 and 21 at Art in the Barn
    5927 Adams Road, Fitchburg, WI
    Tel: 608-835-0454

    Ticket Pricing and Information
    Friday Aug 20 -- $18 adv. / $20 day of show (d.o.s.)
    Saturday Aug 21 -- $28 adv. / $30 d.o.s.
    both Fri and Sat -- $38 adv. $40 d.o.s

    You can get ticket info and advance online tickets
    For more info email <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->, or call Sims at 608-658-6988.

    Friday Aug 20
    7:30pm ~ The Jack Soref Quartet
    8:45pm ~ Harmonious Wail
    10pm ~The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet

    Saturday Aug 21
    12:30am – 2:30pm ~ Instrumental Workshops
    3pm ~ Roma Nota (Alphonso Ponticelli,-guitar, Tony Ballog-violin)
    4:15pm ~ Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
    6pm ~ Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
    7:15pm ~ Harmonious Wail
    8:45pm ~ Roma Nota
    10pm ~ The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet

    Location map,+Fitchburg,+WI&oe=UTF-8&safe=active&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=5927+Adams+Rd,+Fitchburg,+Dane,+Wisconsin+53575&gl=us&ei=pfprTJzwN8GDnQfo6O3-AQ&ved=0CBMQ8gEwAA&z=16
    If I'm out of my mind, it's OK with me.
    The Stuff I like - Gypsy Swing Samples
  • tincuptincup Madison, WINew
    Posts: 27
    Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival 2010

    If I'm out of my mind, it's OK with me.
    The Stuff I like - Gypsy Swing Samples
  • tincuptincup Madison, WINew
    Posts: 27
    Our Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival is on again this weekend. More info at

    The Schedule
    Friday Sept. 167 - 7:55pm -- Ameranouche
    8:10 - 8:40 -- Alfonso Ponticelli with Panzekito
    8:55 - 9:50 - Harmonious Wail
    10 - 11 -- Robin Nolan Trio
    11 - ? - Gypsy Campfire Jam

    Saturday Sept. 17
    12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Mandolin, in the yurt, vocal in the barn and bass workshop in the tent
    1:15 to 1:45 p.m. A monster guitar workshop session. - in the tent
    1:45 to 2:30 p.m. Meet the Artists Meet and Greet session. - in the tent

    3 - 3:40 Ameranouche - in the tent
    3:50 - 4:35 - Jessica Fichot - in the tent
    4:45 - 5:20 - Robin Nolan Trio - in the tent
    5:30 - 6:00 - Alfonso Ponticelli with Panzekito - in the barn
    6:10 - 7:05 - Harmonious Wail - in the barn
    7:10 - 8:10 - Ameranouche - in the barn
    8:45 - 9:45 - Jessica Fichot - in the barn
    10 - 11 - Robin Nolan Trio - in the barn
    11 - ? - Gypsy Campfire Jam

    Sunday Sept 18
    2 - 4pm -- workshops w/ Robin Nolan and Jan P. Brower (talk with Sims)
    6:30 - 8:45 - Robin Nolan trio @ Witwen concerts - Sauk City - Hwy 60 to Hwy O to Hwy E

    If I'm out of my mind, it's OK with me.
    The Stuff I like - Gypsy Swing Samples
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