As many of you know, I am the bassist with the Gypsy Jazz band here on Whidbey Island, The Hot Club of Troy.
Last year, when I learned of a Manouche Festival beginning in the county of my grandfather’s birth, Donegal, Ireland, I dreamed of a journey to play there with the band.
We presented our Django CD to the Ireland committee just after it was released on St. Patrick’s Day 2017 as performed at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts Local Artists’ Series. Infused with the “luck o’ the Irish” it must have been, for we were formally invited by Django Sur Lennon to perform on the main stage of the festival.
In order to make it all possible, I launched a Go Fund Me campaign, “Kristi’s Dream to play music in Ireland.”
Friends, families and fans from our generous community and points including California, Ohio, New York, Texas and Ireland, joined us in this musical adventure, resonating with my message: be creative and collaborate. Raise the harmonic frequency of our world. In exchange for your patronage, I have been sending out my original artworks, our recordings, videos and tales of this cross continental experience.
We recently returned from performing five gigs in four days, including playing live on Ireland’s No. 1 radio station, Highland Radio.
Troy (Chapman) told the story of Djangofest NW and its humble beginnings 17 years ago here in Langley and encouraged this new festival to keep going! We played to audiences in the Regional Cultural Arts Center and the Ramelton Town Center.
I was able to play two gigs as Hot Club O’Donnell, with friends we have met at DFNW from Hawaii and Scotland/LA, whom saw we were in for the festival. Musicians from around the globe attended this fête, igniting a world class event.
Thank you, everyone, including Kyle Jensen of the South Whidbey Record, for listening to my story and believing in me. It has been a blessing to visualize this dream and see it to fruition!
I’d like to share these links to give you a feeling of Django Sur Lennon as reported from World Itineraries: https://worlditineraries.co/ and www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHd6zGl-emw
On behalf of “Kristi’s Dream to play in Ireland” and The Hot Club of Troy, “May your generosity be returned to you like the sunlight glistening on the waters, and as richly hued as the glorious rainbows o’er our island.”
Kristi O’Donnell, bass
Troy Chapman and
Keith Bowers, guitar
clarinet and saxophone
Emmett Mahoney, guest guitarist