Blue Moon Marquée are just two people but create a whole lot more sound than one might expect. You can check them out at the annual Victoria Django Festival March 23 and 24 at the Polish White Eagle Hall in James Bay. Photo by Adam PW Smith

Musical diversity rules at this year”s Victoria Django Festival

Seventh annual tribute to Django Reinhardt and his musical style happens March 23-24

The Victoria Django Festival kicks off its seventh season of music with two nights of Roma swing, Depression-era jazz at the White Eagle Hall in James Bay on March 23 and 24.

This year will feature a full dance floor, bistro and bar plus an Underground Speakeasy Stage with jam sessions, concerts and an era-appropriate cocktail menu.

“If you are concert goer, a lover of dance and you like European blues music then there is something to tantalize your ears (with at the Django Festival),” said organizer Oliver Swain.

Django Reinhardt and his Hot Club of France was the quintessential sound track to Paris in the 1920s and 30’s. His fusion of traditional Roma melodies and Parisienne Musette with North American ragtime and swing created a musical movement that continues to this day.

The Victoria Django Festival has been recreating the night life of Paris for the past seven years in the city, with two nights of steamy cabaret, dance hall and speakeasy venues. Though the event often brings in Djangologists from afar, the strong base of entertainers on stage always hail from the depths of the local music scene, the caliber of musicianship available in Victoria alone is worthy of celebration.

This year’s festival features a ‘made in BC’ line up of some of Canada’s top Djangologists including the Marc Atkinson Trio, Daniel Lapp, Club Voltaire, Blue Moon Marquee and Abe & The Sweethearts, plus many special guests and past performers.

“We have so many local artists in town and many haven’t been back in a couple of years, so we thought bring in Daniel Lapp and Marc Atkinson, but also Blue Moon Marquee a duo up island,” Swain said. “The event has been really warmly received in Victoria. We have fantastic local Roma swing community and it really works with the kind of arts community we have in Victoria.”

A stayed tradition of the Victoria Django Festival, all the events are stocked with delicious nibbles and quenching libations from local sponsors Hoyne Brewery, The Whole Beast, and Pizzeria Prima Strada, as well as dance classes hosted each night by The Swing Dance Association of Victoria, who also judge the crowd favorite Swing Dance Competition.

Tickets are available at

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