About the music venue
Please go to the link at the bottom of this page to find out about Le QuecumBar Allstars, our Patrons and sponsors, other interesting links and Le Q Records latest musical masterpiece “Le QuecumBar International Gypsy Swing Guitar Festival” triple cd chosen by Clive Davis of the Sunday Times as one of the top ten jazz albums of 2010.
A giant triumph for a tiny independent label!
Opening times, Le QuecumBar and Brasserie, about our music and our history:
- Sadly due to licence restrictions we are not permitted to allow entry after 10.30pm
Please check our gig listing’s for any current changes in opening hours
Sunday day times: ticketed workshops when scheduled 11- 4 see listings for details
Sundays and Mondays evenings: are ticketed Prestige Performance Concerts and Special Events see listings for details, Open at 6 -12 food available from 6 until 10 pm
Tuesdays: FREE Gypsy Swing Jam session open 7-12 food 7-10 music 8-11
Wednesday closed to the public open for private parties
Thursday: open 7- till late – food 7- 10 FREE for all before 8pm arrivals and £6pp for after 8pm arrivals
Friday and Saturday: open 6-12 food 6 – 10 FREE Live music for before 8 pm arrivals and £6 pp after, music until 11 – see listings for details
Please go to the “contact us” tab for details of bookings and reservations etc
Le QuecumBar & Brasserie
Le QuecumBar, primarily a live music venue, where the staff are delicious and the food friendly!
Numerous celebrities and secret Django fans visit Le QuecumBar incognito to enjoy the enchanting atmosphere and close up intimate genius of players who grace its stage at The Prestige Performance Concerts, or just drop by to catch the infectious unplugged weekly jam sessions some even joining in with the fun. This is live music at its best.
Widely regarded as the world premier venue of Gypsy Swing. Dedicated to promoting the music of Django Reinhardt and those who perform it, staging some of the world’s finest Gypsy Swing musicians who relish playing in an authentic original style intimate atmosphere. Here, as in 1930’s Paris, Django’s innovative, joyous hot club music is alive, with its wicked swing and hypnotic, pumping rhythms. Le QuecumBar plays host to the worlds best of this genre offering instrumental workshops and integrating home-grown talent with global players.
Le QuecumBar is indebted to the Gypsy culture which pervades this unique music, as style born in 1930’s Paris, drawing on nearly 2000 years of Gypsy musical traditions. The venue also promotes other global Gypsy music such as from Spain and the Balkans – there is always a musical surprise behind its secret doors.
Le QuecumBar and Le Q Records are committed to providing and supporting acoustic and nostalgic jazz/swing by working with the best musicians who believe as we do in our aim to become the foremost Hot Club Gypsy Jazz/Swing venue in the world.
So soak up the ambiance of Parisian chic; experience la belle époque in a venue where strangers become your friends; relax and linger whilst you quaff a glass of wine and peruse the blackboard menu at your leisure; share the magic of real music as it is created, all in a place where time seems to stand still. Above all, have fun rediscovering the roots of Hot Club Gypsy jazz swing, jazz standards, Latin and other acoustic and nostalgic music from a truly elegant era.
The bar and exotic secluded tropical patio and our front pavement tables are yours, as we transport you to another time and place, so sit back and enjoy (but if you are in a hurry please let us know). Chess, backgammon and dominoes are available for those who like to linger.
So please come and introduce yourself. And linger awhile.
About our music: What is that thing, called , Gypsy Swing, Gypsy Jazz, Gypsy String, Jazz Manouche?
The legendary Gypsy, guitar genius, composer, band leader and creator of Gypsy swing/jazz, a uniquely European jazz genre born in 1930s Paris, drawing on over 1,000 years of Gypsy culture.
It is rare for an entire musical genre to be embodied by one single figure, yet Django Reinhardt easily stands as the unequivocal exemplar of Gypsy swing. When his parents named their child Django (meaning I awake in Romanes) they could not have foreseen the influence their gifted son was to have on the musical world his brief forty-three years. A Sinti Romani Gypsy born in Belgium, he couldn’t fully read or write, and he suffered permanent damage to his left hand in a fire when he was a youth. However, Django developed a style and technique that enabled him to overcome his disability and create an entirely new musical genre. He has touched the lives of generations of guitarists and his music is as fresh today as it was over eighty years ago. The unrivalled freedom and inventiveness of his improvisations stunned the world, and his legacy continues to inspire musicians and audiences worldwide.
Informative and entertaining are Miles Kington’s articles in The Independent newspaper from June 2004. Our thanks go to Miles for permitting us to use them and we are sorry he is not around any more to support live music. Copyright applies.
Gypsy Swing, also known as Gypsy Jazz or sometimes String Swing, is Swing played with a rhythm section of guitars and bass, rather than the traditional drums and bass of American Jazz. The foremost and best known of Gypsy Swing players was Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) with his Hot Club de France ensemble which included the famous Stephane Grappelli. Django Reinhardt was a Belgian Manouche Gypsy (virtually illiterate) who lived in France most of his life, and was a prolific composer and a phenomenal natural guitarist. His compositions make up the bulk of standards in the Gypsy Swing genre today and his unorthodox technique (due to the fact that he lost the use of two fingers of his left hand in a fire) has defined the sound of Gypsy Jazz. “Nuages”, “Djangology”, “Douce Ambiance”, “Minor Swing”, “Swing 42” are some of the Reinhardt standards that you will find in the typical Gypsy Jazz repertoire. The popularity of Gypsy Swing/ Gypsy Jazz has continued to grow and change through the influences of musicians, both Gypsy and non-Gypsy, worldwide. During the early part of the 20th century American Jazz captured the imagination of Europe, specifically France. Many famous American Jazz musicians found enthusiastic audiences in Europe while many European musicians incorporated the new sounds of Jazz into their music.
Influenced by a great many styles and players, however the sound and much of the repertoire is inspired by and drawn from a few main sources; Gypsy Jazz, Bal Musette, Chanson Française, American Swing and Latin popular songs. Descriptions of each of these follow.
Some seventy years after Django and his Quintette du Hot Club de France first melded musette and Gypsy music with swing, jazz manouche is alive.
There are many groups playing this music worldwide and Gypsy Jazz has continued to grow and change through the influences of musicians, both Gypsy and non-Gypsy, worldwide.
The music of the bal musette or dance halls was a mélange of waltzes, polkas, paso-dobles and mazurkas, with the fox-trot added during World War I and swing during World War II. Waltzes were extremely popular and dominated much of the Bal Musette repertoire to the extent that sometimes modern players use the word ‘Musette’ to refer to the waltzes from this tradition. The music and its chief instrument, the accordion, was brought to Paris by immigrant rural folks seeking work.
The accordionists came from France, Belgium, and especially Italy, borrowing styles from their home countries as well as the Spanish, the gypsies and Americans. Edith Piaf began her career in the bal musette, and she pays tribute to the form and the musicians in one of her best-known songs, L’accordioniste.
Though Bal Musette and Jazz were not originally thought to be an appropriate mix by dancers and club-owners, it turned out that many of the finest players in Paris were gigging one night in a swing ensemble, and the next night playing for a Bal Musette. In time, pieces from the two repertoires began sneaking into the others’ sets, and by the 1940s, it was common to hear the two styles intermixed throughout the course of an evening.
This music is very appealing, evoking as it does the romantic cafes, sidewalks and dance halls of Paris. It’s instantly recognizable, with its minor keys that speak of an underlying sadness, coupled with jaunty melodies and sporty playing styles that reveal the resilience of the human spirit.
Chanson Française literally means ‘French Song’, although the term has come to refer to a certain style of song, usually quite melodically complex, in which the words address life’s hardships and joys; love, romance, pain, disappointment, heartbreak and celebration. Finding its roots in the songs of the traveling troubadours in the middle ages, Chanson Française is always finding new voices and forms that keep it as alive today as ever.
Perhaps the best known chanteuse in this style of music was Edith Piaf. However there are many other celebrated artists in this genre such as Mistinguette, Frehel, Jacques Brel and Charles Trenet to name a few. The drama and beauty of Chanson Française continues to enchant audiences worldwide, regardless of whether they speak French or not!
From the dawn of the 20th century until today, American Swing Jazz has had a profound influence on music and musicians everywhere. From small combos such as Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five to the big bands of Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman the vibrant and energetic sounds of Swing Jazz have inspired dancers and captured the hearts of listeners. Swing Jazz is a music that provides a venue for exploration, improvisation and virtuosity on the part of the players (including singers) while at the same time is appealing to listeners and dancers alike because of its exciting rhythms and melodic beauty. Certainly, the influence of Jazz and Jazz musicians on modern music cannot be underestimated.
20 plus years ago Sylvia Rushbrooke, proprietor of Le QuecumBar, had a dream nurtured and born at the annual Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois-sur-Seine (Gypsy swing Mecca for the greatest Gypsy/world musicians of this genre and Django’s resting-place).
The bar become a reality due to pig-headedness and tenacity, fuelled by the inspirational off-the-wall friendly quirky 1930s charm and nostalgia of pre-war France, where the aroma of garlic mingled with the sounds of typical bal musette street café music. This is where Django Reinhardt played the guitar with magic in his hands and invented the finest ever Hot Club Gypsy jazz, the birth of European jazz, making Paris swing to the newly discovered liberty of unconventional but melodious rhythms.
The conception and Le QuecumBar’s birth in February 2003 was no accident, deliberately coinciding with and commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s death (1910-1953). A venue created to be a continuation and celebration of the legacy left by this Gypsy swing guitar genius, who was the inventor of European Jazz.
Some 80 plus years after Django and his Quintette du Hot Club de France first melded musette and Gypsy music with swing, jazz manouche (Gypsy Swing) is still alive and as innovative and expressive today as it was 80 years ago. The heart of Le QuecumBar beats to the rhythm of Gypsy Swing whilst Europe and American are gripped with its vibrant exciting sound and only now can it be enjoyed live, as it should be, in the UK.
Le QuecumBar & Brasserie, is a hot spot for UK public newly discovering this music and for visiting Gypsy Swing Jazz fans, throughout the world, who head off to Le QuecumBar whilst visiting London, due to this brasserie’s fame, the world over, through word of mouth and the wonder of the World Wide Web.
While Le QuecumBar believes the information contained herein to be reliable, it does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information and it makes no representation with respect thereto. Le QuecumBar reserves the right to change the programme and prices at any time. All wines are subject to availability. The management reserve the right to refuse admission at all times.
Links from this site are the responsibility of outside organisations and Le QuecumBar will not be held responsible for the content thereof. A link from this website does not necessarily constitute recommendation and is provided for potential interest value only.
Customers are asked to note that Prestige Performance tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.