Isabelle Fontaine was born and raised in the French countryside with the voices of Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, and Yves Montand ringing in her ears. Growing up, she spent endless hours listening to the family's old records and although she had no intention of becoming a professional musician, she loved singing. During her college years, her life took an unexpected turn when she joined a group of friends and started performing as a vocalist. She abandoned her plans of teaching English and instead spent the next twenty years singing and playing the snare drum throughout France, with trips to Spain and over the Alps to Switzerland. During this period, she developed an unconditional love for the Ladies and the Dukes of the Big Band Era, and the great composers of the American Songbook. She was eventually drawn to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt and The Hot Club of France, the perfect union of her French cultural heritage and the world of Jazz. Somewhere along the way, she picked up the guitar and applied her impeccable sense of rhythm to the stringed instrument. In 2004 she moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area and has since become sought after not only for her singing but for her rhythm guitar playing as well.
Jeff Magidson was born in San Francisco. His parents, both musicians, taught him to read music and play the piano at an early age. Throughout his childhood he was exposed to many different styles and became proficient on a number of instruments, (piano, guitar, drums, bass, harmonica). In1983, as a Cal student on a year abroad program in Poitiers, France, he was drawn into the local music scene and ended up staying 20 years, thereby making his impact on the French blues scene. With a variety of groups, or as the leader of his own formation, he had the opportunity to perform on countless festival and club stages throughout Europe, releasing three albums of his own compositions, and a dozen more as a contributing artist. It was in France that Jeff was first introduced to the music of Django Reinhardt which he describes as ‘a life changing experience.’ Jeff was drawn deep into the world of Gypsy Swing culminating in the formation of Duo Gadjo with Isabelle. From 2005-2015, Jeff was a member of the much revered Hot Club of San Francisco. Jeff sill performs with the Hot Club occasionally and was the producer of their most recent album ‘John, Paul, George, and Django’. He also performs with his own band ‘The Jeff Magidson Blues Band.’
"You will not find sweeter, more authentic or honest people than Jeff and Isabelle. They were always aware of my budget constraints and made many suggestions to help save money. They have a prodigious repertoire of many styles of music and relationship with many dozens of musicians for any occasion. They made my daughter's wedding a masterpiece with ease and grace. They quickly got my vision for the event, met with my daughter to help her pick the music. They had great equipment and most important - they are amazing musicians! My assignment was complex. play "soft" music as the guests arrived, be my back up band to perform an original tune during the ceremony, play soothing music during the reception and dinner, then transform into a kick-a** swing band for the dancing. The transitions were seamless and the mood from the moment they started playing until the last dance was magical. You cannot go wrong using them as your musicians for any occasion."
Peter Ingersoll, Ocean Beach CA
"Jeff and Isabelle are stupendous as "Duo Gadjo". Uva has many musicians, Duo Gadjo is tops. Their lively music along with a mix of sultry french makes them a Uva favorite in Napa. The Duo has a magnetic stage presence, such that the interaction with each other and the guests is a definite draw. Of interest is the different instruments and genres that they play, all very enjoyable."
Tony Diaz, (owner UVA restaurant)
"Isabelle and Jeff transported us to a French Bistro with their music. Everyone loved the narration during the performance. It made it all the more special to learn about the song writers and the stories behind the songs. It was a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the evening. Look forward to having you back!"
Shannon Van Every (Presenter of The Club at West Park), Roseville, CA
"When it was time for my husband to say good-bye to a 33 year career in County Government Administration, I decided to throw a Retirement Party for him that was joyous and fun. No speeches! I had heard Duo Gadjo multiple times at different venues around the Bay Area and loved their engaging eclectic vibe of music. Yes, they are "Jazz with a French Twist" but also are expert at everything from The Blues, to French and American Love Songs of the 30's and 40's. From slide guitar to Washboard and beyond. Their professional yet personal touch never disappoints."
Ginger Tandy, Lafayette, CA
"Duo Gadjo exceeded my expectations in so many ways. With a busy house they jumped right into the fold and set up without help, kicked off their set and took it from there. They were able to tailor their set to the mood of the party with a great deal of variety all at a perfect level of volume. Had I known that they'd be such a hit for our guests I would have booked them for longer. However, now I left guests wanting and looking forward to our next soirée."
Ryan R, San Francisco, CA
"What a pleasure it has been to present Duo Gadjo to many of my clients over the years! For a variety of events from an informal rustic picnic to a formal affair, their performances have delighted all who attended and added greatly to the success of the event. Not only are they are consummate professionals, both vocally and instrumentally, but their show is top notch. They are fabulously entertaining. I look forward to more fun and wonderful performances with Duo Gadjo!"