Norbert Slama & Raphaël Bas
Visually impaired accordionist Norbert Slama was born in French Algeria and grew up in post-World War II Paris listening to Gus Viseur, Jo Privat and other masters of Bal Musette. Also influential in Slama's youth was Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, violinist Stéphane Grappelli and American jazz masters who have influenced the French music scene ever since the 1920's.
During his long career, which began in the 1940's, he has been a bandleader and performed with many legends including Josephine Baker. His masterful renditions of Jazz, French Musette, Gypsy Jazz, and other styles of music (Tango, Paso Doble, Tzigane...) earned Norbert Slama the personal admiration and invitations of celebrities like Edith Piaf, Elizabeth Taylor, Aristotle Onassis, Pablo Picasso, Walter Mondale, Eva Gabor and Mstislav Rostropovich, to name a few.
These days, Slama divides his time between his home in France and his adopted home in New Orleans, where he performs classic French music to a growing legion of fans who appreciate his unique connection to the bygone era of Paris in the 1950's.
In 2010 Norbert Slama teamed up with Jazz guitarist Raphaël Bas with whom he shares French roots and a similar cultural and musical background.
Guitarist and harmonica player Raphaël Bas was born in France and has been writing and playing music ever since he borrowed his sister's Christmas present, a guitar, at the age of 10. He has dedicated himself to the study of the Manouche style, often called Gypsy jazz, inspired by the likes of Quintette du Hot Club de France, Pierre “Baro”Ferret, Fapy Lafertin and Henri Salvador.
Bas migrated to the U.S. some twenty years ago and moved to New Orleans permanently in 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina. He stayed to help rebuild his new beloved city and to pursue a musical career where he is considered one of the city's finest proponents of Gypsy jazz guitar with his acclaimed band Harmonouche. Bas blends the French traditions he heard as a child with the multicultural flavors of the city where jazz was born.
The pair performs weekly in and around New Orleans at clubs and at festivals offering energizing and genuine performances of fiery interpretations of a mixture of French Waltzes, Gypsy Jazz, Latin, New Orleans Traditional Jazz and original numbers.
Be ready for some spicy French musette - Louisiana style!