Hot Café are New Zealand’s leading exponents of European gypsy jazz, a style of lyrical swing music made famous in Paris by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt during the 1930s. Their band, The Quintette of the Hot Club of France, became hugely popular both before and after the Second World War, selling records to thousands of devotees across Europe.
Since then, this tuneful style of music has spread world-wide beyond Europe, with players and fans to be found from the USA to Japan. The appeal to listeners is not only in the exciting rhythms and spectacular guitar and violin techniques that drive the faster numbers, but also in the slower evocative melodies that characterise the romantic side of the genre. The blend of acoustic instruments – violin, guitars and upright bass – is a refreshing departure from load amplified music.
Hot Café is a Welington-based band of professional musicians with wide experience. The four members of the band all have well-known successful music careers:
- Nik Brown (Violin) Nik is a jazz violinist who has recorded with a number of New Zealand artists. Nik also plays in New Zealand’s iconic band The Warratahs.
- Leigh Jackson (Guitar) Leigh is one of New Zealand’s masters of jazz guitar with many years as head of jazz guitar at the Massey Jazz School.
- Nick Granvillle (Guitar) Nick is New Zealand’s other grand master of jazz guitar, regularly playing with international jazz artists. Nick taught for some years at Massey Jazz School.
- Nick Tipping (Acoustic Bass) Nick one of New Zealand’s top jazz and classical bass players and has recorded with several international artists. Nick holds a PhD from the NZ School of music and lectured there for a decade. He is best known to RNZ listeners as the host of the weekly jazz programme “Inside Out”.