French-born guitarist/composer Stephane Wrembel is preparing to release his brand new studio album, Origins, on May 15, 2012. Anticipation is high for this new release by the young virtuoso. For his recent visit to WNYC’s “Soundcheck” Studios with John Schaeffer, Wrembel and his band performed songs from Origins. Click here for live video and audio from the WNYC session. Stephane Wrembel tours this spring/summer in support of the album release. The current list of confirmed shows is included below.
He’s been called “a revelation” by Rolling Stone. Woody Allen recruited him to score the theme for last year’s smash film Midnight in Paris, and he performed his original song “Bistro Fada” live at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Wrembel’s playing is “blinding fast and relentlessly graceful” (The Daily Gazette) and his compositions are full of “soulful lyricism and melodic flair” (Washington Post).
To say that Wrembel—who learned his craft among the Gypsies at campsites in the French countryside of Fontainebleau—has already had a remarkable career would be an understatement. But this virtuoso, who is now Brooklyn-based, has truly just begun to make his mark as one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music.
Presciently titled, Origins, which Wrembel recorded with his band—bassist Dave Speranza, rhythm guitarist Roy Williams, drummer Nick Anderson and percussionist David Langlois—finds the multi-faceted musician corralling all of his myriad influences into a hybrid that simultaneously reflects where he’s been and points to where he’s headed. Although he built his reputation as a stylist in the mode of the iconic French Sinti guitarist Django Reinhardt, Wrembel now revels in transcending and expanding. “I’m digging deeper and deeper into my roots,” he says about the album.
Although Wrembel certainly loves paying homage to his roots—hence the title Origins—and was happy to oblige when Allen’s producer requested “a work that would remind of the magic of Paris” for the Oscar-nominated Midnight in Paris, he is in no way bound to his own past. Origins touches upon everything from blues to flamenco to rock; all of these influences come together as something identifiable only as Stephane Wrembel.
“I just play my own music,” he says. “I like to believe that it is beyond any one genre and that there is something in it for everyone. It’s not only for the rock music lover, or for the Django lover; it’s not only for the jazz lover, or for just young people or old people. It’s for the music lover.” Indeed, Origins is the most sophisticated representation to date of Wrembel’s superior compositional skills. Fleshed out by the superb musicians in his band, Wrembel’s melodies burst with panoply of textures and colors, moods and emotions.
“It’s a different state of mind altogether,” adds Wrembel, talking about Origins. “I always compose with a picture in mind. That Impressionism approach is the main thing that I’ve carried with me from Fontainebleau.”
Upcoming tour dates for Stephane Wrembel include:
Thursday, May 17 Joe's Pub @ The Public Theater New York NY CD Release Party
Sunday, May 20 Barbes Brooklyn NY
Friday, May 25 Carriage House Ithaca NY
Saturday, May 26 Boulder Coffee Co Rochester NY
Sunday, May 27 Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar Buffalo NY
Wednesday, May 30 The Ark Ann Arbor MI
Thursday, June 21 - Saturday, June 23 Wanderlust Festival Bondville VT
Wednesday, June 27 Strathmore Symphony Hall North Bethesda MD
Thursday, July 5 - Saturday, July 7 Wanderlust Festival Colorado Copper Mountain CO
Friday, July 13 Outpost Performance Space Southeast Albuquerque NM
Saturday, July 14 Music Instrument Museum Phoenix AZ
Sunday, July 15 Club Congress Tucson AZ
Wednesday, July 25 Yoshi's (Oakland) Oakland CA
Thursday, July 26 - Saturday, July 28 Wanderlust Festival Lake Tahoe Lake Tahoe CA
Tuesday, July 31 Lan Su Garden Portland OR
Tuesday, August 21 Cape Cod Jazz Fest Cape Cod MA
Additional dates to be announced. For tickets and more information visit the newly revamped website at www.stephanewrembel.com