'Sweet Spot' With Mike Sugerman: A Taste Of Gypsy Music

May 24, 2018 - 7:56 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- It’s what we love about living in New York City – the world’s most cosmopolitan spot, and in music, you can find every variety and some the best in the world.

In this week’s “Sweet Spot,” Mike Sugerman gives us a taste of Gypsy music.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Even after you practice, practice, practice, it’s still a long shot. You have to be among the best at what you do.

And in the world of Gypsy music, there is no one better than Dorado Schmitt and family.

And there they were, earlier this month, playing the music Django Reinhardt made famous – though today, no one is more influential in the Gypsy music world today than Dorado Schmitt.

“Always his dream; the dream of all musicians to play Carnegie Hall -- to stand on the ground where all the great artists play; just to be in those walls…,” Schmitt said in his native French through an interpreter.

But this is even more special. At age 57, Schmitt is slowing down at bit, and plans to let his sons Samson and Amati take over the band, both also virtuosos.

“This is a great pleasure for him to be with his sons at Carnegie Hall; to pass the torch to them,” Schmitt’s interpreter said. “In Gypsy culture, it is all about family. He passes it to them to carry on the legacy.”

There was an appreciative audience for the Carnegie Hall the program, which actor and fan Leonardo DiCaprio helped produce. Also producing was Pat Phillips, who has been a big name in the New York music scene for quite some time.

She has helped champion the music, which is seeing a revival.

“It takes astounding talent. They don’t read music. They don’t write charts. It comes from inside. They just get together and they start playing a little bit – and voila, there’s the music,” Phillips said.

It’s hard to imagine when you hear the results.