Dorado Schmitt (born 1957) is a noted French guitarist and violinist in Gypsy jazz. He is best known for the songs "Bossa Dorado" and "Natacha" from his own albums, as well as the "Tchawolo Swing" from the Latcho Drom soundtrack.
Schmitt was born in Saint-Avold, Lorraine, France on May 29, 1957. His father taught him guitar from the age of seven, showing him the gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. His father also introduced him to violin. Schmitt composed his own pieces, incorporating improvisation and challenging techniques. He eventually became as comfortable with swing and gypsy waltz as with the bossa nova and flamenco styles.
In 1978, he formed the Dorado Trio, composed of Gino Reinhardt on double-bass and Hono Winterstein on rhythm guitar. Later, the guitarist Claudio Favari joined the group and performed at the Burghausen Jazz Festival in 1983. He recorded Hommage à la Romenes and in 1984 Notre Histoire. The first remained a jazz best-seller for several weeks in Germany.
On February 23, 1988, he was the victim of a car crash, which left him in a coma. After two years and several operations, he returned to his trio in 1990, recording Gypsy Réunion in 1993 and Parisienne in 1994. In 1997, he briefly went on hiatus after the death of Gino, his brother-in-law, returning in 1999 at the festival of Patrimonio in Corsica. He received the Djangodor trophy at the festival of Luttre-Liberchies in Belgium in 2000.
In 2001, his fame increased in the United States after he played at Birdland in New York with guitarists like Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Angelo Debarre, the violinist Florin Niculescu, and the Ferré brothers. The next year, he toured the U.S. In 2004, he played several concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. His son, Samson Schmitt, a musician and a composer, often accompanies him in concerts.
- 1983: Hommage à la Romenes (Dima)
- 1993: Swing '93 by Gypsy Reunion (Djaz)
- 2002: Djieske Samson Schmitt Quintet featuring Dorado Schmitt (EMD)
- 2004: Rendez-Vous (Le Chant du Monde) with Pierre Blanchard
- 2008: Parisienne (Megaphon)
- 2009: Family (Dreyfus)
- 2015: Django Festival Allstars Live at Birdland (Frémeaux)
- 2008: on YouTube