Dorado Schmitt

Composer and jazz performer Dorado Schmitt was born in
St. Avold ,in Lorraine "France" the May 29th 1957. Since his chlidhood, thanks to his family devoted to music, he was plunged in the Gypsy jazz. His father formed him to the guitar since the age of 7, showed him the music of the Master, the great Django Reinhardt. Under this influence, he improved his style by playing all the musics of the master, even the most technical solos, in order to perform perfectly the Django style. Moreover his father initiates him into the violin and Dorado plays it with the same feeling.

It's him ! It's Dorado Schmitt !
In 1978, he formed the Dorado Trio composed of Gino Reinhardt playing the double-bass, Hono Winterstein playing the rhythmic guitar. Later the guitarist Claudio Favari joined the group but only for a few time.

But Dorado doesn't want only to copy the Django style, he begins to compose his own musics, harmonious melodies with smart improvisations, and an exceptional technique. He is as comfortable in the swing and the gypsy waltz as in the Bossa Nova and Flamenco style.

Between 1981 and 1983 he records two vinyl disks "Hommage à la Romenes" and  "notre Histoire"  one of them will remain several weeks a jazz best-seller in Germany.

He played with several famous musicians like : Philippe Catherine, Oscar Peterson, he took part in a lot of festivals in Germany, Autsria, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece.
He succeeds in all the styles he tries, in a word he is a great musician known in the entire world. 

Unfortunately the fate wasn't what he expected, the February 23rd 1988  he was victim of a terrible car crash which slowed down his career and left him in a deep coma during 11 days.
With 35 fractures and several operations, his career could have stopped here. But with courage, will and work, after two years of effort, he will succeed in coming back musically and he will form his trio again in 1990.
Dorado in Corsica at Patrimonio

Guitarist and brilliant composer, it doesn't last until he comes back on the scene. 

In 1993 he performes a set of concerts in France notably at the Garnier Opera in front of three thousand music lovers, at the Vilette and at the Django Rheinhardt festival of Samois
He also takes part in the movies "nuages", " les fous de Django", in 1993 the trio recorded the album Gypsy réunion followed in 1994 by Parisienne. 

But in 1997 a new difficult moment shook the trio with the death of Gino (his brother-in-law) because of the consequences of an illness.
Dorado very shocked by the death of his friend, will quit the scene, it's only in 1999 he reappears at the festival of Patrimonio in Corsica. 
The list of all his concerts and festivals would be too long to name, let's just remember at the festival of Luttre-Liberchies in Belgium in 2000, he received the Euro DJANGO 2000 trophy.

The Birdland in New York has contributed to American notoriety for Dorado
Birdland in New York, 2001

Everything has begun in 2001 in a festival dedicated to Django Reinhardt, with four evenings at the jazz temple the Birdland of New York.

He played with some guitarists like Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Angelo Debarre, the violinist Florin Niculescu, the Ferré brothers. Even George Benson, struck by the performance  will join him on scene.

Birdland in New York, 2001

In 2002 he came back to the USA for six concerts, where he played with the clarinet player Paquito d'Rivera and the unmissable saxophonist James Carter (to the left).
In June 2003, Dorado played in some concerts in the following cities : Chicago, Medford in Oregon, Ann Arbor in Michigan . 

In July he played in : San Francisco, New York at the Lincoln Center, and in the festival of Bel Air.

in november, for a third year consecutive, he will play in  New York at the Birdland for a week.

For January 2004, three concerts are already scheduled in Washington at the Kennedy Center.

Let's hope that his USA popularity will keep increasing, he deserves to find his right place again, among the best world guitarists  no matter of the music style.

In 2002 he also took part in several concerts with Bireli Lagrène. Despite his star status, Dorado, gifted musician, charms by his kindness and his simplicity, that's why all the Gypsy are proud of him.
Dorado and his son Samson Schmitt

His son Samson brillant musician and composer, often accompanies him in his concerts. Samson whose notoriety is increasing, represents the perfect example of the family transmission in the Gypsy.

His talent let him more and more be independant.

Dorado leaves an artistic heritage too, because several of his works are great success in the jazz (see the Discography page),  and are taken back by everyone : The Bossa Dorado, from the Parisienne album, Natacha from the Gypsy réunion album, Tchawolo swing from the Latcho Drom CD.

He also took part in the soundtrack (for the France chapter) of the film Latcho Drom "have a nice trip", of Tony Gatlif, and where he played himself.

All thanks to Arnaud Spaeth for the English traduction this biography.