Friday, January 23, 2009

I awake too . . .

Celebrate the birthday of Jean "Django" Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953), the renowned Belgian Gypsy jazz guitarist.  "Django" means "I awake".

Django suffered a severe hand injury in a fire, but instead of giving up music due to his injury, Django simply re-invented his guitar playing. He discovered new ways to play chords and runs with his two (some say three) working fingers.

Quintette du Hot Club de France was a jazz group founded in France in 1934 by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli. The group was active in one form or another until 1948.  It was considered one of the most significant continental jazz groups of its era.

Enjoy music clips: Quintette du Hot Club de France (Paris-Londres 1935-1938) by Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli. 

If you are in the neighborhoods during festival time, definitely go to a Django Festival (USA) and hear some excellent music.  (In Europe, the open air Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival is organized every year in May in his birth village Liberchies, municipality of Pont-à-Celles, Belgium; in the summer in Samois-sur-Seine, France, Festival Django Reinhardt; in the fall in Torino, Italy Associazione Jazz Manouche "Django Reinhardt")  You will find it a real pleasure to hear acoustical guitar.

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