A special evening of vintage silent films accompanied by live gypsy swing will be at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan Sunday, April 22. Coming to Silvermine straight from their engagement at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Hot Club of San Francisco, an ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians celebrating the timeless music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, will present Cinema Vivant.

As the images flicker to life, gypsy musicians play their guitars and fiddles, matching every movement on the screen with characteristic virtuosity, passion and humor. Reviving this lost entertainment of 1930s Europe, The Hot Club of San Francisco pairs music with film, scoring early silent shorts with live music. Reminiscent of what would have been seen throughout the gypsy communities of Europe in the early 20th century, the all-string instrumentation of this gifted ensemble takes listeners back to the smoky clubs of Paris and the gypsy caravans of Europe's countryside.

Before World War I, filmmaker Ladislaw Starewicz pioneered stop-action animation, creating a never before seen movie experience. A gifted storyteller who used the new medium of animation to illustrate his fantastic imaginings of the secret lives of ordinary objects, Starewicz has become a cult hero. Two of his films are featured in Cinema Vivant, "The Cameraman's Revenge," a piece about marital troubles of beetles and "The Mascot," an adventure story about lost toys. On the other side of the Atlantic, Charley Bowers revolutionized the industry in the 1920s by combining animation with live action. "There It Is," a recently rediscovered film by Bowers, is a comedy about a mysterious occurrence investigated by Scotland Yard.

The Hot Club of San Francisco borrows the instrumentation of violin, bass and guitars from the original Hot Club de France while breathing new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group's lead guitarist Paul Mehling. Featuring the amazing violin of two-time Grammy Award winner Evan Price and a swinging rhythm section. Often called gypsy jazz, the music of The Hot Club of San Francisco has entranced audiences around the globe for more than 20 years. Acoustic Guitar hailed the group's playing as "intricate, scorching and often brilliant." With frequent international and national tours, from Iceland to Lincoln Center and the Monterey Jazz Festival, The Hot Club of San Francisco keeps this historic music fresh and alive.

Seating is limited and advance reservations are suggested. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. To reserve tickets in advance or for more information, call 203-966-9700 ext. 22 or visit www.silvermineart.org.

More Information

Fact box

Silvermine Arts Center is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four acre campus, the center is comprised of a nationally renowned artist guild, award-winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for all ages, a gift shop and galleries, offering more than 20 contemporary and historic exhibitions annually.