The Baltimore-based Ultrafaux Ensemble performs original Gypsy Jazz-inspired music with elements of swing, funk, blues, Brazilian choro, and French musette. Lead guitarist and composer Michael Joseph Harris is one of the most prolific writers in this style rooted in the technique of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt. Harris and 2nd guitarist Sami Arefin trade dazzling leads and harmonize together on rich gypsy-inspired melodies along with a rotating cast of sidemen including Dallas Vietty - accordion, Jason Anick - violin, Evan Price - violin, Aaron Malone - violin, Giacomo Smith - clarinet, Connor Stewart -clarinet, Jonathan Greene - clarinet and many more.
Ultrafaux's original song, Latcho Dromo was chosen by acclaimed producer of Hot Club Records, Jon Larsen to be featured on Django Festival #9, an international compilation of gypsy jazz music. The year after, Harris' recording of Place de Brouckere was featured on Django Festival #10 and then another the following year when Signs of Struggle was featured on Django Festival #11, making Harris one of the only artists to ever be featured three years in a row. Ultrafaux has been featured on CBS News, The Baltimore Sun, and Baltimore Style Magazine. They have performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Django By The Sea, Django-a-gogo, The Django Birthday Party, Djangoary, Midwest Gypsy Swingfest, Charm City Django Jazz Festival, IMT Folk Series, Napa Valley Jazz Society, Carrboro Django Jazzfest, and Festival Django Reinhardt in France.
We sometimes forget that jazz was first and foremost a people's music meant for
dancing and socializing. One evening with Ultrafaux demonstrates why jazz has been
so irresistible to listeners all over the world. — Ken Avis, BJA
“Ultrafaux's original compositions compare favorably to classic Hot Club tunes. They
update the tradition and bring the swing into the 21st century.” — Paul Hartman,
“Ultrafaux breathes new life into jazz, while holding onto the sense of nostalgia that
makes this genre so timeless and appealing in the first place. This is music you didn’t
know you were missing, and it’s wonderful to hear it anew.” — Sam Sessa, Hit Parade,
“These musicians can handle the complexities and breakneck speeds of Roma swing,
but what makes Ultrafaux really special is that they play original music