top of page
rmgj fest sign.jpg

Both of the Saturday performances are FREE to the general public, and will be held at Flights Wine Cafe in Olde Town Arvada.

We want to continue to promote this music, as well as bring in musicians from around the country and around the world to share their unique talents. With your donations, we can continue to produce and promote Gypsy Jazz across the Denver metro area, and beyond.

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

2022 marks the first year for the RockyMtn Gypsy Jazz Festival. It is with tremendous gratitude that we thank the Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival and Henriksen Amplifiers for inviting us to be a part of the festivities - as well as Olde Town Arvada for being our gracious hosts!

A weekend of live music, guitar workshops, and jams will certainly be a memorable experience for the musicians and students involved - as well as the many people coming to enjoy what the weekend has to offer. While all of Olde Town Arvada will be involved, we will be performing at Flights Wine Cafe 7714 Grandview Ave., and hosting workshops at the facilitated jam at the Keller Williams Avenues building - 5701 Yukon St.  Arvada, CO

Meet the players/teachers
lisa liu.jpg

Lisa Liu - Brooklyn, NY
Performance: 9/10 @ 6:00pm
Workshop: 9/11 @ 11:00am


Lisa Liu is a guitarist based in Brooklyn, NY. She plays gypsy jazz, experimental, folk, rock, and solo guitar. Liu is an Artist Ambassador for Santa Cruz Guitar Company and is also endorsed by Krivo Pickups. She is a Teaching Artist at Django In June, and has also been an Artist In Residence at The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Liu released her debut jazz album "Introducing... Lisa Liu" on November 12th, 2019.

Liu has performed at the Django Reinhardt Festival (France), SiX The Musical on Broadway, The Music Center at Strathmore (MD),  The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Washington DC), Academy of Music (MA), Peabody Essex Museum (MA), The Rubin Museum of Art (NYC), Joe's Pub (NYC), Barbès (NYC), The Knockdown Center (NYC), and the Hill-Stead Museum (CT).


"Liu performs with a confident grace that reveals an intuitive command of her instrument, and her versatile picking style ranges from a playful nimbleness to straight-up jamming."

-Christa Titus/Billboard Magazine

Lisa's Workshop

In this workshop, Lisa will show you her methods for improvisation using arpeggios, chromatic embellishments, chord voicings and rhythmic phrasing techniques. 

The song "Coquette" will be used as an example.

PDF handouts will be provided.

*Includes admission to facilitated jam

Michael Joseph Harris - 
Baltimore, MD

Performance: 9/10 @ 7:00pm
Workshop: 9/11 @ 2:00pm


In 2012, after years of performing mostly Brazilian and Latin influenced original music, guitarist Michael Joseph Harris began studying and playing the music of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt which led to the creation of The Hot Club of Baltimore later that same year. After a surge of Django-inspired composing in 2013, Harris formed the band Ultrafaux in 2014 to perform his original songs in the style of Gypsy Jazz. In 2015, Harris founded and remained Artistic Director for the popular Charm City Django Jazz Fest, the only annual Jazz festival in Baltimore, Maryland since 2016. Michael was named one of the top musicians in Baltimore by Baltimore Style Magazine and he was featured in a full spread article in The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Magazine

M.J.H. Workshop

Creating Your Own Solo Ideas:  Guitarist Michael Joseph Harris shares various techniques and useful patterns rooted in Django Reinhardt's sound and modern Gypsy jazz to help facilitate creating your own solo ideas for improvisation, including multiple ways to approach dominant chords as they resolve to major or minor keys. We will also explore how to improvise using melodic and rhythmic motifs, both self-made and also based on ideas from Django Reinhardt and Charlie Parker solos. 


Subtopic #1 

Alternate Picking versus Gypsy Picking: How to use both effectively in the context of Gypsy jazz. You'll learn how to incorporate Django's picking technique into your own arsenal of skills. This class includes some really fun GJ riffs that you will enjoy playing during the jam sessions.   


Subtopic #2

Django's Arpeggios & Patterns. You will learn incredibly useful patterns for soloing based in Django's technique. These exercises really cement the right hand rest-stroke technique while also being incredibly useful for soloing. We'll focus primarily on Minor Swing and All of Me for this lesson. 


Subtopic #3

The Theory Behind Django's Signature Sound:

I will teach you why the Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, Whole Tone, Diminished and Half-Diminished sounds work so well for soloing in gypsy jazz. It's eye opening to uncover the theory behind Django's treatment of dominant chords and how he resolves to major and minor. We will be using the songs I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Dark Eyes and Melodie au Crepescule. 

*Includes admission to facilitated jam

Michael Isabell - Denver, CO
w/ Lisa Liu
w/ Michael Joseph Harris
Workshop: 9/11 @ 4:30pm


Colorado native Michael Isabell has made a niche locally as an educator with the Sollohub School of Music. As a part of the school since 2012, Michael has taught and inspired many to understand, connect with, and enjoy the guitar. Moved in a different direction from his rock and roll influences, Michael found tremendous inspiration from greats such as Louis Armstrong, and Django Reinhardt.  This new direction would open up opportunities to perform and share stages with various local bands, as well as players like Robin Nolan, Christiaan van Hemert, Tommy Davy, Samson Schmitt, and Harmonious Wail. As the founder of RockyMtn Gypsy Jazz, Michael hosts a weekly acoustic jam in Olde Town Arvada, and continues to promote the music he loves. In the summer of 2021, Michael joined as a private coach along side Yaakov Hoter and his educational website

Michael Isabell's Workshop

The style of accompaniment used in Gypsy Jazz - often referred to as "La Pompe" - can be elusive to even a seasoned guitar player. As an integral part of the style, a solid rhythm is a necessary foundation for the soloist to create their improvisations. Without the characteristic sound and feel of "La Pompe," the whole song loses its groove. Join Michael as he coaches you through the fundamentals of "traditional" and "modern" sounds, and opens up new insights into your technique and understanding of this percussive and powerful rhythm.  

Purchase both workshops from Lisa Liu and Michael Joseph Harris and receive free admission to Michael Isabell's accompaniment workshop.
($30 dollar value)


Facilitated Jam
9/11 @ 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Here is your opportunity to sit in and jam with the featured musicians from the weekend of performances and workshops. Join Lisa Liu, Michael Joseph Harris, and Michael Isabell in playing through Django Reinhardt, and other Gypsy Jazz standards. You will receive critique and guidance on your sound, accompaniment, and improvisation. This unique chance to jam with top level players, so be sure to reserve your spot. 

*wave the jam registration fee by signing up for workshops held by Lisa Liu and Michael Joseph Harris.

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
bottom of page