What is the Hot Club de Katoomba?
In short, Australian violinist Simon Watts (String Theories, Skarrat & Watts) and French singer/rhythm guitarist Julien Clément (Belle Jar, Julien Joel Clement) team up for an evening of classic French chansons and an assortment of Hot Club swing jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.
Here is the more detailed story: We are a “Hot Club” swing collective based in Katoomba (Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia). Hot Club swing is also known as Jazz Manouche, or Gypsy/Sinti Swing. We mostly play as a Duo (guitar/vocals and violin), but expand up to a Quintet (with double bassists Brett Hirst or Andrew Ireland, accordionist Matthew Dennett, and saxophonist drummer Neill Duncan).
Simon picked up the violin at the age of seven and has never stopped playing. After a classical training Simon was restless to explore other styles of music from the music of his Irish ancestry to jazz swings & steamy tangos and his main aim, when playing, is to bring pleasure to his audience and leave them wanting more.
Julien is a singer/songwriter & rhythm guitarist known for his many projects covering a wide style of music (indie pop, disco, funk, ska…). For the Hot Club de Katoomba, he goes back to his French roots, keen to communicate the passion, drama and humour of French classic songs from the 30s and onwards.