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La Résistance at Liquid Assets

Sue Carney's new music project is a program of Gypsy jazz styled after guitarist Django Reinhardt and his Quintette du Hot Club de France, which Reinhardt co-founded in the early '30s with violinist Stéphane Grappelli.

"A couple of years ago, I asked my fans what kind of music they would like to hear," Carney says. "The feedback that I got was that gypsy jazz would be interesting."

Carney began to research Reinhardt and his music last winter while studying music production and sound technology at the Temple Bar Music Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

"It is an original style of European jazz that was played in Paris during the Second World War," Carney says. "It is a mixture of American jazz standards and hot new tunes from Paris. During the war, the light, playful styles of jazz developed by the French became an important symbol of resistance and free expression to the Nazis. It was punishable by arrest to play or listen to it in occupied countries."

Reinhardt played his music in Paris despite its contradictions to the Nazis' one-race philosophy.

"Somehow, Reinhardt received dispensation from the Nazis," Carney says. "He went to them and talked to them. I don't know what he said to sway them, being a musician and a Gypsy."

Carney put together a group of acoustic musicians, including guitarists Bil Leonhart and Cyd Smith, clarinetist Michael Vannice and stand-up bassist Jim Calhoun for La Résistance.

Carney is known for her work as a producer, composer, vocalist and instrumentalist at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her jazz vocals are marked by range and inventive scat solos.

Carney and La Résistance will present dinner shows at Liquid Assets Wine Bar in Ashland. Reservations for dinner seating are $18; club seating is $12. Liquid Assets will offer a dinner special from its French-inspired menu, as well as lighter fare. The wine bar also will feature wines by the glass and beer. All food and beverages will be sold separately. Call 482-9463 for reservations.

Sue Carney - Photo by Jenny Graham