Women playing Gypsy Jazz guitar

WillieWillie HamburgNew
in Welcome Posts: 843

There are female Blues guitar players from the beginning, just to mention Memphis Minnie. Jazz guitar in general, although being a men's world for a long time, has attracted many women over the past decades. But Gypsy Jazz guitar still seems to be an almost purely male thing even nowadays. I myself can only think of these four: Irene Ypenburg, Lu Golovina, Christine Tassan, and Leila Duclos.

There was a discussion in 2015:

with no female contributions.

Any Gypsy guitar girls here in this forum in the meantime?

Any Gypsy guitar girls at least reading the discussions here?

Here are the ones I mentioned above:

Irene Ypenburg

is singing and playing with great musicians

does artwork and fine animations

and last but not least is a journalist, making very interesting documentations

Lu Golovina

to me has kind of a traditional approach

Christine Tassan

is searching for new sounds

and is also singing

Leila Duclos

is a singer too



  • DoubleWhiskyDoubleWhisky Upper FranconiaNew Dupont MD60, 1940s Castelluccia
    Posts: 144
  • WillieWillie HamburgNew
    edited February 2023 Posts: 843

    Thanks, @DoubleWhisky, and greetings to Upper Franconia! An aunt from Coburg lived with our Munich based family until I was sixteen, and I had good friends and fellow musicians in Kronach in the old times. And, to get back on topic: all of the boys and none of the girls were playing guitar, all singers.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 473

    Lisa Liu is another guitarist.

    We should make sure the forum has a welcoming attitude to all and does not appear as a "boys' club."

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,344
  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 417

    don’t forget Sara L’Abriola. A very fine player

  • AzazzellAzazzell CanadaNew
    edited February 2023 Posts: 178
    • Debi Botos (guitar)
    • Daisy Castro (edit: not enough strings 🎻😀)
  • WillieWillie HamburgNew
    edited February 2023 Posts: 843

    @Azazzell Daisy Castro surely is an extraordinary young musician. But no matter how many times I count the strings of her instrument it does not have enough for this discussion ... 🎻 😜

    But to be serious: there are much more female singers and violin players than guitarists in the world of Gypsy Jazz (good to have them at least).

    In the above mentioned discussion from 2015 "Getting more Ladies into Gypsy Jazz" for example Dennis Chang writes

    "Since i run DC music school and since i also have lots of free products , every month when i do accounting, i'm just surprised by the number of women customers, they all get the violin stuff... the guys get the guitar stuff.. there are exceptions of course."

  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-30, Altamira M-10
    Posts: 389

    Let's not forget Shelley Park & Isabelle Fontaine. Most of you will surely know Shelley for her exquisite guitars, but she used to play guitar with Pearl Django. And Isabelle is extraordinary as a singer and gypsy jazz guitar player. She sometimes plays with superb Hot Club Of San Francisco. I'll post links here to both of them later, unless someone beats me to it.

  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 707

    I recently attended Django's Birthday Celebration at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA. Mimi Fox was a headliner and she added Lisa Liu to her lineup. You can watch a bit of the action at I did a free workshop with Mimi and she was very interesting.

    Another GJ guitarist who took the stage with her group, Duo Gadjo, was Isabelle Fontaine. Isabelle plays rock solid rhythm and spent years backing up Paul "Pazzo" Mehling with Hot Club San Francisco. In the workshop I attended with Pazzo, (and Mimi), there were a couple of lady GJ guitarists. One of them seemed familiar (Jennie Kong Mayer), although we had never met. It turns out they both play in a Seatlle based GJ band of all ladies, Lulu Swing, and I have seen them in DFNW photos for years.

    Christi Lao and her bandmate in She Sings She Swings are nice guitarists and vocalists and deserve a mention.

  • DoubleWhiskyDoubleWhisky Upper FranconiaNew Dupont MD60, 1940s Castelluccia
    Posts: 144

    Greetings ins Tor zur Welt! Cool, i'm in the Coburg/Kronach area from time to time, but i'm more based around Bamberg and Bayreuth. There seems to be a small but fine rockabilly scene in Kronach, but not that much gypsy jazz happening anywhere there haha. By the way I love your hometown, hope to visit again sometime! Had a gig there 2017 at the Astra Stube and had a really good time!

    Some more "women playing gypsy jazz" content:

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