Django Sur Lennon

"Without music life would be a mistake." — Friedrich Nietzsche

Those little words ring so true to any serious musician or listener, and to those of us who play and listen to Jazz Manouche. 

Gypsy Jazz, Jazz Manouche, Swing Gitan, Hot Club Jazz or whatever label you wish to put on it, was born from a unique style developed by a couple of guys back in the 1930's Parisian Jazz scene, namely Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.  As Denis Chang writes, when Django first heard American jazz he "immediately fell in love with the music; this hot jazz was very reminiscent of the Gypsy spirit of virtuosity and improvisation."

We celebrate the enduring style and jazz innovation of Reinhardt and Grapelli here in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland at a music festival we like to call Django Sur Lennon.  Every September, we invite some of the greatest ambassadors of Gypsy Jazz on Earth to land on the shores of the river Lennon. 

This year, we are especially excited to announce our fabulous 2019 lineup, with some of the most talented and novel players among the heirs to Django's spark.

We also have a totally new offering: an amazing September 2019 master class series brought to you by of some of our planet's best creative artists in Jazz Manouche, Swing Gitan, Gypsy Jazz, and all points in between! 

Feast your eyes on this!

Paulus Schäfer Quartet with Noah Schäfer, featuring Nicola Giammarinaro and Mathieu Châtelaine

Fapy Lafertin and Tcha Limberger Ensemble with Dave Kelbie, featuring Mozes Rosenberg and Sani Van Mullem

Christophe Astolfi Quartet with Florent Gac, Samuel Hubert and Stéphane Chandelier

Samuel Farthing and Friends

Emmett Mahoney and Friends

And if that weren't enough.. For the first time, Django Sur Lennon is offering a series of master classes with renowned artists and instructors! 

Christophe Astolfi will be our master of the Bal Musette and French valses. 

Paulus Schäfer brings to Django Sur Lennon for the first time the Dutch school of Gypsy Jazz and the method "Learn it from the gypsies". 

We are in discussions with a number of show-stopping musicians you know and love to complete the roster. 

...and more!  Watch this space for updates. 

Django Sur Lennon will come to life September 26 – 28, 2019. 

So why not make a bee-line down to the picturesque heritage village of Ramelton this September and experience this Gypsy Jazz music!  We can assure you: you will not be disappointed.  In fact you'll be knocked out, bowled over, flabbergasted, fascinated and dazzled and eh, all that stuff!  See you there!

Paulus Schäfer, Romino Grünholz and Noah Schäfer with Dominique Paats, playing "It Don't Mean a Thing" by Duke Ellington. 
(Please use the volume control in the top right corner of this page's header bar if your browser's video player does not provide one.)

Program and Artists

We're setting up the 2019 show as you read this.  We are completely honored to offer you some of the most exciting, innovative and authentic heirs to the tradition of Reinhardt and Grapelli! 

Our program includes:

  • Thursday 26th September, 8:00pm, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny: Christophe Astolfi QuartetBuy tickets

  • Friday 27th September, 8:00pm, Town Hall, Ramelton: Sam Farthing and Friends followed by Paulus Schäfer Quartet with Noah Schäfer, featuring Nicola Giammarinaro and Mathieu ChâtelaineBuy tickets

  • Saturday 28th September, 5:30pm, Town Hall, Ramelton: Emmett Mahoney and Friends followed by Fapy Lafertin and Tcha Limberger Ensemble with Dave Kelbie, featuring Mozes Rosenberg and Sani Van MullemBuy tickets

  • Thursday 26th – Saturday 28th September, 10:00pm till close: jams at Durkan's, Bridge Bar, O'Donnell's, McDaid's Wine Bar and Conway's

We are excited to announce that a new series of master classes has been added to Django Sur Lennon 2019.  Each master class participant may access 2 hours of instruction each day offered. 

  • Christophe Astolfi will be our master of the Bal Musette and French valses, teaching Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 26th – 28th September.  Buy a master class seat now!

  • Paulus Schäfer brings to Django Sur Lennon for the first time on Saturday 28th September the Dutch school of Gypsy Jazz and the method "Learn it from the gypsies".  His master class may be the only chance this year outside the Sinti Music camp in Gerwen, NL, to experience the most complete learning experience ever offered to jazz guitarists.  Buy a master class seat now!

Sign up to learn first hand from the musicians whose artistry you admire and enjoy onstage! 

We are in discussions with a number of show-stopping musicians you know and love to complete the roster. 

Feast your eyes on our current lineup right here.

Fapy Lafertin is the expert's expert and musician's musician of Jazz Manouche. His tremendous technique, gorgeous tone and deep appreciation of melody and its story are unmatched. Fapy started playing music at age five and, like many Sinti and Manouche musicians, began his career in a family band. In the 70s and 80s, Fapy with Koen de Cauter led a revival of worldwide popularity of the music of Django Reinhardt. Fapy now tours, records and teaches in the Netherlands, inspiring new generations of audiences and musicians in the love of jazz guitar.


Save your spot at Django Sur Lennon, Thursday 26th September through Saturday 28th September!

Tickets will be available at the door and online.  Get a weekend pass for €50 for access to all shows, or tickets to each night's show for €15 – €20 each. 

New this year! Our Master Classes comprise a series of subscription learning events with 2–6 hours of instruction apiece.  Learn the secrets of Bal Musette and French valses from Christophe Astolfi; learn how to play guitar like the Gypsies from Paulus Schäfer!  The fees range from €120 – €240 per participant. 

We are in discussions with a number of show-stopping musicians you know and love to complete the roster. 

And for your consideration.. Did you know that you can be a bigger part of the festival with even more chances to enjoy the music!  Have you considered becoming a Sponsor of Django Sur Lennon?


Welcome to Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland.  This small, cultured seaport is tucked away on the eastern shore of northeastern Ireland.  With a population just over a thousand, Ramelton is a an official Fáilte Ireland Heratige Town and boasts friendly shops and locally owned restaurants. 

Ramelton holds a variety of good accommodations, including hotels, holiday homes, self-catering cottages, guest houses and bed-and-breakfasts. 

Visitors to Ramelton find it easy to get around the town and County Donegal via shuttle bus or trolley; or on rental bikes or motor vehicles.  Letterkenny, about a half hour away by country road and connected to Ramelton by regular bus service, provides more diverse resources if needed.

The Ramelton area offers local pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and shops, museums, galleries, historical buildings, local crafts and farm produce, and a focus on traditional Irish village life.  Ramelton organizations offer hiking and boating excursions.  The exquisite Fanad Head Lighthouse, frequently listed as one of the most beautiful in the world, is just up Lough Swilly.

As is true for the island as a whole, Ramelton enjoys a maritime climate moderated by North Atlantic currents including the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift.  Ireland is cooler and wetter in the winter, warmer and drier in the spring and early summer, and not prone to extremes.  Mountains along the Atlantic Coast protect the interior from ocean winds. Ireland is famously green due to abundant incoming ocean moisture, ranging from mists to gales.  Please see below for annual climate conditions around Ramelton, courtesy of Wikipedia. Clones is south of Ramelton in the interior while Malin Head is northwest of Ramelton on the Atlantic coast.

Directions, News & Updates

For international visitors, we recommend arrival at the Dublin Airport.  For those favoring public transport, Bus Eireann provides bus service from Dublin to Letterkenny; from Letterkenny to Ramelton, the Lough Swilly Bus Company provides service.  One can also fly to Donegal or Derry and arrange for further transport to Ramelton.  For flexibility in schedules and local exploration, we recommend renting a car at the Dublin Airport.  Due to the narrow village roads in the area, we recommend rental of compacts, sedans or sportscars over vans or SUVs.  To reach Ramelton by road, drive from Dublin or other locations to Letterkenny.  There is a large roundabout prior to the Letterkenny town center.  Turn onto Route 245 here.  6 miles of winding country road bring you to Ramelton.

We recommend the Silver Tassie Hotel for ease of access to the festival.  Shared and single rooms are available.  A number of charming cottages and bed-and-breakfasts are available as well.  Please make your choices and book early! 

Attending a festival, depending in part on where you stay, can be walking intensive.  Car and vehicle rentals and limited public transportation are available.

We are delighted to partner with Jump, Jive and Django© and Sinti Music to offer an exclusive series of Master Classes in Ramelton in coordination with Django Sur Lennon.  Learn to play the music of your dreams and come jam with us! 

About Us

Django Sur Lennon is a non-profit organization that puts on an annual Gypsy Jazz festival in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland.  The idea came about at a rehearsal of La Pompe, a local Gypsy Jazz band whose members are Donough Cleary, Martin McGinley, John Kinsella, Simon McCafferty and Damien Doherty.  The name pays homage to the famous Festival Django Reinhardt at Samois-sur-Seine.  The members of La Pompe subsequently became the organising committee for the festival along with the invaluable assistance of Donal Casey, another local Django enthusiast.

Three years in, the festival has seen some of the world's greatest ambassadors of Gypsy Jazz electrify packed audiences and jam in local pubs to all hours, making Ramelton home to the best wee Jazz Manouche festival on the planet. 

Donough Cleary is a solicitor in Donegal by day and a Jazz Manouche musician at all other times.  Donough is the organising force who drives the creation of an amazing and richly musical festival every year.

Martin McGinley needs no introduction in Donegal.  He is a fiddler extraordinaire, a journalist and newspaperman, an educator, public-relations man and Music Development Officer at Donegal Music Education Partnership.  Martin combines brilliant original Irish aural tradition with the traveling music of Jazz Manouche.

John Kinsella is the double bassist for La Pompe.  He teaches banjo as well and is a devoted husband & father and enthusiastic soccer fan.

Simon McCafferty is an artist and composer based in Donegal.  His guitar style is influenced by Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins as well as Django Reinhardt.

Damien Doherty is a well known local musician and Django enthusiast.

Donal Casey is the retired Senior Executive Chemist for the Donegal County Council.  His experience with process control and environmental protections engineering in the paper industry stood him in good stead in setting up a laboratory for the Council as their first chemist.  He and his colleagues became involved in a cross-border environmental management initiative.  In this regard, his work with counterparts in the Northern Ireland service gave him direct appreciation for the peace process.  Donal plays Jazz Manouche guitar and is active in the Donegal community.

Please contact us by email with any questions.

Terms and Conditions: We provide a festival and master classes as time-limited single-location opportunities to attend performances by selected musicians and to practice guitar with instructors and other guitarists for demonstration of guitar methods.  We expect civil behaviour by all audience members and performers.  Those traveling from other countries to Ireland are responsible to have appropriate travel documentation.  All master class participants and volunteer jam participants must provide and transport their own musical instruments, a process which may also require documentation; insurance is recommended.

Privacy: We will not provide your identifying information to any third parties except as necessary to carry out the arrangements for this festival, for example to charge your card for your ticket.

Payment and Delivery: Tickets for scheduled performances and seats in master classes may be purchased through this website or at the door.  Receipts will be provided upon clearance of payments. 

Refunds: All sales are final and non-refundable.  If you are unable to attend a master class, please provide the organisers with at least 12 hours' notice.  We will attempt to contact the next individual on the wait list who may wish to purchase your seat.

Our Sponsors

Have you considered becoming a sponsor of Django Sur Lennon?  You may love the music, jams and artistry of the festival and yet may not have appreciated your essential part in making it all happen, and how your part could grow.  Expenses for the next festival begin pretty much as we are sweeping up in the venues at the ends of the shows.  If you would like to contribute, sponsorships begin at €200 and come with reserved seating right next to the stage, commemorative items and more.  Please contact us by email if you would like to join the hallowed ranks of our Sponsors.

Django Sur Lennon would like to thank the following Sponsors of the 2018 festival.  We are grateful for their generous support of our efforts to make Ramelton the home of the best wee Jazz Manouche festival on the planet, enriching the lives of audiences and musicians.

DMG Motors are based in Donegal Town and are main dealers for Skoda, SEAT and Mitsubishi new cars and commercial vehicles. DMG Motors' showroom avails customers of a car service centre, parts department and Euromobil car hire. DMG Motors also pride themselves on selling quality secondhand cars and abiding by the highest levels of customer service.


2018 was awesome!  Django Sur Lennon showed its chops as the best wee Jazz Manouche festival on the planet.

Tchavolo Schmitt is one of the world's foremost guitarists in the tradition of Django Reinhardt. His international career includes collaborations with guitarists in the Reinhardt, Winterstein, Schmitt and Rosenberg families, as well as Romane, Patrick Saussois, Biréli Lagrène and film maker Tony Gatlif. Opportunities to hear this master of the genre are rare.


2017 was a breathrough year for Django Sur Lennon! 

Adrien Moignard is a self-taught guitarist who discovered the instrument at the age of twelve. He quickly advanced to the music of Django Reinhardt. A jazz prodigy, he's played with greats of Jazz Manouche including the Schmitt, Rosenberg, Winterstein and Reinhardt families and the Serge Krief school. Adrien is known for his fearsome skills and fresh cross-genre takes on classics.


2016 was the beginning.. 

Romane, son and grandson of guitarists, began to play at the age of twelve in the company of Rroma musicians. Faithful to the tradition of Django Reinhardt and furthering it with distinctive compositions and style, Romane has recorded with the masters of the genre, including Tchavolo Schmitt, Angelo Debarre and Stochelo Rosenberg.