Saturday, January 23, 2010

Django Reinhardt's 100th Birthday

Happy 100th Anniversaire Django Reinhardt!

Dear Friends, Dear Readers,

Today would have been Jazz Great/Guitarist

 Django Reinhardt's 100th Birthday!

This amazing musician had a profound effect 

on the Music World.

Here's what Global Around Town 

Senior Music Correspondent Don Yaffe 

has to say about Django.

Born January 23rd 1910,  Django (meaning "I Awake" in Romany) grew up in a family of traveling performers: his mother an acrobatic dancer, father a noted bandleader among the Gypsy tribes. His first instrument was the violin, then the 6 string banjo common at the time as the rhythm of the "Bals Musette"  dancehall music of the 20's in France. Barely a teenager Django's reputation grew playing for coins on the streets to the point where he was offered work in the "Bals Musette" along side the greatest Accordion masters of the time. By the age of 18 he had abandoned the Banjo (in a cab, the story goes) for the guitar and made some of his earliest recordings. Then tragedy struck, a fire in his trailer one night severely burned Django's fretting hand and he lost the use of two fingers. 

He spent a year in the hospital recovering from his wounds,  and relearning the guitar to adapt to his handicap. His revolutionary technique with two fingers changed guitar music forever,  and the public could not believe the power and virtuosity of his playing,  his recording career made him the most influential european jazz musician to this day. In the last 10 or 15 years,  festivals in his honor have sprung up around the world, and "Hot Club" style groups now appear in major cities across America.

Check out his playing here. 

Django really swings!

Many thanks to my dear friend Don Yaffe

who happens to be one of the most brilliant

Guitarist/Musicians I know.

Don and his merry band


can often be found gracing

the Denver and Boulder areas.

Check them out at:

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