The Kennedy Center

Dorado Schmitt



Biography

Dorado Schmitt, a guitarist and violinist born in 1957 in St- Avold, Lorraine, France, is a manouche guitar legend. He became known to general audiences for his creation and performance of the original sound track of Latcho Drom, a movie that related the real story of the Rom people moving from India to the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. Raised on traditional music, he became interested in Santana and Jimmy Hendrix in his teens, but after a time returned to the gypsy music of his family. In 1978 he created the Dorado Trio with fellow musicians Gino Reinhardt on double bass and Hono Winterstein on guitar. In 1988, he began playing the violin as well as the guitar and formed a new band in 1990. One of the most gifted guitarists of his genre, Dorado Schmitt's compositions such as "Bossa Dorado" and "Natacha" have been recorded by several artists. His albums as leader include Parisienne, Gypsy Friends, and Djieske (on which his son Samson appears as both accompanying guitar and composer of several titles). He can also be heard on Rendez-Vous with Pierre Blanchard (December 2004). Among the many honors he has received over the years, Dorado Schmitt won the Django Award at the 2001 Django Reinhardt Festival in Reinhardt's hometown of Luttre-Liberchies. Since 2001 Mr. Schmitt has performed annually in New York during the Django week at Birdland with artists including Angelo Debarre, the Ferré brothers, Paquito D'Rivera, James Carter, and his son Samson Schmitt. He has also performed with George Benson and Bireli Lagrene. Mr. Schmitt appeared in the KC Jazz Club as part of the Center's Django Reinhardt Festival in January 2004, October 27–29, 2005, and November 16-17, 2007. He also appeared with his Django 100 and Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing in the Terrace Theater on January 16, 2010.
 
-Updated October 2011.
 
Dorado Schmitt