Record file — A DjangoFest Northwest participant strums an impromptu tune in downtown Langley during the 2013 festival.

Djangofest Northwest tunes up Wednesday

Gypsy jazz will fill Langley’s streets this week.

The 17th annual DjangoFest Northwest, which according to Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) is North America’s premier gypsy jazz festival, kicks off in the Langley area on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The festival is a homage to the famed Belgian-born Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt, who created the genre of gypsy jazz with his signature two-fingered guitar style.

The music begins with a free outdoor patio “block party” at 6:30 p.m. at WICA. Performances will follow every night through Sunday evening, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday featuring two separate concerts each night. All scheduled shows will take place at WICA, with the exception of a VIP reception at a private home Friday evening.

For more information on the concert schedule, visit https://www.djangofestnw.com/concerts/.

The festival brings performers from everywhere from the Netherlands to Quebec and Paris. South Whidbey is also represented with two local acts in Hot Club of Troy and EVM All Stars.

In addition to the scheduled concerts, Djangofest always has its fair share of impromptu “djams,” where musicians gather to pull out their instruments for an improvised session. This year also features a range of workshops from festival performers, including hand-picked guitar lessons and improvisation classes.

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