Fapy Lafertin


Fapy Lafertin was born November 20 1950 in Courtraie (Belgium) and started playing music at the age of 5. Playing several instruments, he finally choose the guitar as his specialism. Like most Sinti / Manouche musicians Fapy started his musical career playing in a family band. In his case a trio with his father on violin and his brother on rhythm guitar.

Fapy started playing the Hot Club the France repertoire when he joined the orchestra of violinist Piotto Limberger. He also toured with his uncle, the late Eddie Bamboula Ferret. Between 1975 and 1985 Fapy played alongside Koen de Cauter, leader of the band Waso that popularized worldwide Django’s music and spread Fapy’s name and reputation as a jazz guitarist. This band with Lafertin and Limberger also comprised Viri Limberger (guitar) and Michel Verstraeten (bass).

After leaving the group, Fapy played in a trio with Simon Planting on bass and Flip Krajenbrink on rhythm guitar. In 1985 he formed his own quintet in the Netherlands, which he modeled upon the original Quintette Hot Club de France, that introduced the Gypsy Jazz Style. This group has featured various Dutch instrumentalists, among them violinist Rudi Brink, Joop Hendricks and Tim Kliphuis.

Beginning of the 90’s, Fapy joined forces with Bamboula Ferret composing songs in the Romani language. About a decade later they started to record these originals, combined with some French songs that Bamboula knew from his youth. In 2011 the album ‘Ou Welto Risella’ (the world is turning) was born, featuring these enchanting songs by the voice of Bamboula.

Lafertin also followed a solo career, during which he played in various European countries. In the mid-90s, he went to England where he performed with guitarist Dave Kelbie. At that time he created two great albums in tribute to Django which were recorded with the technique of the 30’s resulting in an stunning vintage sound. Besides this Fapy played in bands alongside such famous jazz musicians as Charlie Byrd, Scott Hamilton, Al Casey, Milt Hinton and Benny Waters.

During a visit to Glasgow – Scotland he teamed up with Stéphane Grappelli, the brilliant violinist who has been Django Reinhardt’s musical partner more than half a century earlier in the QHCF. Back in The Netherlands, he continued his already brilliant career performing particularly alongside violinist Tim Kliphuis with whom he made three albums.

In beginning of this 21st century, Lafertin went on touring and recording. He started playing less orthodox instruments such as the the 12-stringed guitar in performances of Portuguese fado and Brazilian samba set amid jazz compositions by Reinhardt and Grappelli, as well as music of Duke Ellington and other composers.

Fapy Lafertin. is a real improvisor, not just featuring a tremendous technique but also showing a deep appreciation of the melodic content of the music and telling a real story while playing. Besides the big stages he also performs during festivals and smaller scale activities, giving many people a chance to hear his magnificent music.

As a teacher he inspires many young guitarists. At the Gypsy Jazz Academy Fapy offers lessons online so students all over the world can take part. A special connection exists between Fapy Lafertin as a mentor and Paulus Schäfer, already a master in his own right. In their joint performances a combination of tradition and innovation, controlled mastery and virtuosity enchants the audience.

Fapy Lafertin is geboren in de Manouche / Sinti zigeunergemeenschap in Kortrijk (België) op 20 november 1950. Al heel jong bespeelt hij allerlei instrumenten. Met het orkest de Piotto’s start hij met het spelen van het Hot Club de France repertoire.

In de jaren zeventig en begin jaren tachtig treedt hij op met Koen de Cauter in de band WASO, die zeer succesvol de Hot Club Django’s Jazz wereldwijd populair maakt. Daarna begint hij aan een solo-carrière, speelt met big bands en bekende jazzmuzikanten in Engeland. In deze periode treedt hij op met Charlie Byrd, Scott Hamilton, Al Casey, Benny Waters en Milt Hinton. Ook treedt hij op met Stephane Grappelli in Glasgow. Sindsdien wordt hij beschouwd als een autoriteit in de jazz wereld.

In 1985 start hij in Nederland zijn eigen quintet, geïnspireerd op de beroemde jaren 1930 van Django Reinhardt. Het Lafertin Quintet musiceert met diverse bekende Nederlandse artiesten, zoals Rudi Brink en Joop Hendrickx.