Friday, November 7, 2008


Django [pronounced "Jango"] Reinhardt (1910-1953,) Belgian Gypsy jazz guitarist. With violinist Stéphane Grappelli he cofounded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, described by critic Thom Jurek as "one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz." (Wikipedia).

He was seriously burned in a fire when he was a young man, and several of his fingers were mangled and almost amputated, but he re-learned how to play his chosen instruments (banjo, guitar, violin) and went on to become one of the most renowned jazz guitarists ever.

"Many musicians have expressed admiration for Reinhardt (whose main influence was Eddie Lang), including guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, classical guitarist Julian Bream; country artist Chet Atkins, who placed Reinhardt #1 on a list of the ten most influential guitarists of the 20th century (he placed himself fifth); Latin rocker Carlos Santana; blues legend B.B. King; the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia; Phish's Trey Anastasio; Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi; Jimi Hendrix; The Libertines' Carlos Barat, Synyster Gates; Shawn Lane; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Derek Trucks; Mark Knopfler; Les Paul; Joe Pass; Peter Frampton; Denny Laine; Jeff Beck; Jon Larsen; Steve Howe; Charlie Christian; George Benson; Wes Montgomery; Martin Taylor; Tchavolo Schmitt; Stochelo Rosenberg; Biréli Lagrène; John Jorgenson; Michael Angelo Batio; Richard Thompson; Robert Fripp; and Jeff Martin. Willie Nelson wore a Django Reinhardt T-shirt on tour in Europe in 2002, stating in an interview that he admired Django's music and ability."

"Musicians have paid tribute to Reinhardt in many other ways, such as by invoking his name in their own work or personal life. Jimi Hendrix is said to have named one of his bands the Band of Gypsys because of Django's music. Jazz trio The Lost Fingers from Quebec, Canada named themselves after Reinhardt's injured fingers, and play music that is strongly influenced by his style."

"A number of musicians named their sons Django in reference to Reinhardt, including David Crosby, former Slade singer Noddy Holder, Jerry Jeff Walker, Richard Durrant, and also actors Nana Visitor & Alexander Siddig and Raphael Sbarge. Jazz musician Django Bates and singer-songwriter Django Haskins were named after him."
(Source: Wikipedia)

(With Stephane Grappelli)

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