I have first heard and seen Florin Niculescu in the concerts dedicated to the memory of Stephane Grapelli and then Django Reinhardt whose centenaries where celebrated in 2008 and 2010. Florin is considered to be their follower and this is by itself a huge compliment. The virtuosity of Grapelli as violinist and the spirit of Reinhardt the greatest jazz manouche (Gypsy jazz) musician ever seem to have met in the person of the musician born in Bucharest in 1967. Florin lives in France since the 90s. I have seen him a few weeks ago in a jazz-symphonic concert recorded on the stage of the Athenee Hall in Bucharest. A detailed biography and some fine music can be seen on his Web site http://www.florinniculescu.eu/anglais.htm. Below are a few special music pieces that I found on youTube.

(video source alex333x)

The couple Biréli Lagrène-Florin Niculescu met in the 90s and is considered to be a successor to the legendary couple Django Reinhardt – Stéphane Grappelli who created the guitar-violin dialog in jazz in the 1940s. Here they are in ‘Rue de Pierre’ a spirited dialog which allows to both of them to prove their fantastic skills, filmed and recorded at the Vienne jazz festival in 2007.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUlsjlPnOeQ

(video source Xiphosss)

This part belongs to a formula which is close to the one that he played in the recent concert in Bucharest, with the exceptional guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg and the Kristiansand Simphonic Orchestra. After an improvisation by Rosenberg follows ‘Tears’ by Reinhardt with Florin Niculescu at his best.

(video source grandboucheguitar)

And finally watch and listen to Florin in an exceptional performance at the 2007 festival in Samois dedicated to Django. Image is not the best but you get the music and the atmosphere. The spirit of the manouche music is burning under his fingers.

PS – after reading this entry a colleague on the mail list dedicated to the memory of Cornel Chiriac pointed me to Hot Club Radio – a radio station dedicated to jazz manouche. Thanks and Enjoy!