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A Musical Life: Shane Marler

  Shane Marler has been involved in Wichita-area music for more than two decades, including tenures in acts such as Ophil, Nouveau Quintet, as a solo artist and, more recently, as a member of The Mischief Makers

My name is Shane Marler I’m a local guitar player and singer-songwriter.

I first took an interest in gypsy jazz and Django Reinhardt in about 2004 or so.

I had no idea that there was this whole world out here and this guy named Django. I got online and started doing some research and found out that there’s a whole contemporary scene and told my wife, ‘One of these days we should take this pilgrimage to France. There’s this jazz festival in this town called Samois-sur-Seine where he died. He’s buried there. We should go, it’d be a nice vacation.’ I said that, thinking, ‘It’s never going to happen.’ In 2006 we made our first pilgrimage to France.

There are no slackers there. There’s nobody who’s not very good. There are these gypsy kids that are 12 years old that will just blow you away. So, while I was incredibly inspired by the first trip that I took, at the same time I thought, ‘What am I doing?’ This little kid? I’ll never be as good as he is.

There’s something about what I consider authentic music. And gypsy music did that for me for some reason. I was just obsessed and enthralled.

For some reason it just strikes a chord with you and you don’t know why. But that’s the beauty of music.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.