Django Reinhardt

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Jean [1] "Django" Reinhardt (French pronunciation: [dʒɑ̃ɡo ʁenɑʁt]; 23 January 1910 - 16 May 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer.

Born into a family of Romani gypsies Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called 'hot' jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. With violinist Stéphane Grappelli, he co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, described by critic Thom Jurek[2] as "one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz." Reinhardt's most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including "Minor Swing", "Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42" and "Nuages" (French for "Clouds").

Contents

Biography

Childhood

Born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, Reinhardt's nickname "Django" is Romani for "I awake."[3] He spent most of his youth in Romani (Gypsy) encampments close to Paris, playing banjo, guitar and violin from an early age. His family made cane furniture for a living, but included several keen amateur musicians.[4]

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