In my first post I told you that I admired talented musicians whose devotion to their craft outweighs their quest for fame and riches. The Wiyos, named after an 1880’s street gang in New York City facetiously refer to themselves as ‘the next ragtime, jug band, minstrel supergroup’. Cats and I have seen them play several times, when they venture out of their Brooklyn digs to perform elsewhere. You don’t often come across washboard players as talented as Michael Farkas.
Every major city has a ‘hot club’ band, playing the Django Reinhardt inspired hot jazz out of Quintette du Hot Club de France. Paired with Stephane Grapelli, this formative group played some of the most original jazz of the era from the French gypsy tradition. Le Hot Club de ma Rue toil in and around Montréal. I almost got them to play at a Meals on Wheels fundraiser when I was director in Pottstown, PA. One of my staff spoke French, but a long delay prevented us from moving forward. In any case, they are pretty damn good.