Tag Archives: Django

Happy Birthday Django

It will come as no surprise that we’re postponing today’s #WednesdayWisdom post to pay a birthday tribute to the legendary Django Reinhardt.

Born this day in 1910, Reinhardt is generally regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and is acknowledged as the first important European Jazz musician who made major contributions to the development of the genre.

After his fourth and fifth fingers were burned, effectively paralysing them, following the fire in his caravan, Reinhardt used only the index and middle finger of his left hand on his solos. This led to the creation of a new style of jazz guitar technique (often referred to as hot jazz guitar), which has since become a vibrant and active musical tradition within the French Gypsy culture.

Together with Stephane Grappelli, Reinhardt co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France; which was described by critic Thom Jurek as “one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz”.

Over the years we’ve featured many of Reinhardt’s most popular compositions, which have become jazz standards, as #ThrowbackThursday posts. It’s also been our pleasure and privilege to hear many musicians play these pieces on our Dupont guitars either on stand or in our showroom. These pieces have included favourites such as “Minor Swing”, “Daphne”, “Belleville”, “Djangology”, “Swing ’42”, and “Nuages”.

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Happy Birthday Django

We rarely celebrate the big names in music preferring instead to champion those lesser known musicians and composers.  Today, however, we are making an exception as it is the anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s birth this day in 1910.

Much has been written about Jean “Django” Reinhardt and there’s nothing we can say that hasn’t already been written.  Suffice to say Django was a Belgian-born French Jazz guitarist and composer of Romani ethnicity. He is regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century despite, or perhaps because of, his fused fingers. He also composed just shy of 100 songs. He was the first and, in our humble opinion, most significant jazz talent to emerge from Europe in the 20th Century and, quite possibly, of all time.

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