23 April 2007

Gypsy Terrorists?

A major T-U goes in tandem to the U.S. Government and to the Iridum Jazz Club for keeping Bireli Lagrene out of the country, and then not notifying concertgoers about it.

Bireli Lagrene might be the world's best Django Reinhardt-style guitarist. Like Django, he is a French Gypsy. He was supposed to play a multi-night engagement at the Iridium, ending last night. My friend (and musical force of nature, and singer/songwriter/guitarist for The Woodshedders) Dwayne Brooke told me about the show, which he was going to drive to NYC with 3 others to see [from West Virginia].

We all arrived at the Iridium a half-hour before showtime only to find that Bireli had to cancel because of Visa problems--he was never even able to leave France.

So here's why everybody needs to tighten up: A. Bireli Lagrene is not a terrorist, he's a gypsy. Where I come from, there's a difference. B. The Iridium made no effort to inform ticketholders of the cancellations via ticketweb, their website, or by phone--each of which was not only possible, but was the right thing to do given the nature of the cancellation.

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