Django Reinhardt

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Jean Baptiste "DJANGO" Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 - 16. May, 1953) was born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, in Belgium, but grew up in his native Sinti society in a camp near Porte de Clichy in Paris, France. He is known as the first great european jazzmusician, inventor of an original european jazzform influenced by folkmusic, worldmusic, artmusic and jazz. The diverse musical inherit of Django can be ascribed to his Sinti people´s tradition as a "family of musicians", their nomadic lifestyle, as well as to the rich music scene of Paris at the time.

Django earned at an early stage a repurtation as a musician of extraoridinary talent, included in the contemporary music scene in Paris as banjoist and violinist already as a teenager. But his promising career could have come to a sudden end, as his caravan caught fire and burned to the ground in 1928. Django got away retaining his life, but with his left hand irrevocable crippled. Against all odds Django overcame his handicap and flourished into one of jazzhistory´s greatest and most advanced guitarists. He was one of the first european musicians adapting the music of Charlie Parker og Dizzy Gillespie, integrating their inventive ideas without loosing sight of his own musical vision. For a period he toured with Duke Ellington, but first got recognised by a broader audience joining forces with Stephane Grappelli in Quintette du Hot Club de France. Django Reinhardt´s personality, his extraordinary guitartechnique, an exuberant, yet melodic approach to both composing and improvisation, has left him a name in the book of jazzgiants.

In 1951 he retired to Samois sur Seine, France, where he lived until he died the 16 of May, 1953. Django´s tone sustains as vibrant and clear in today´s Sintisocieties strewed throughout Europe, as on the "Legend´s of Jazz" CD for sale at your local music shop. Festival at his honour are held in over 40 countries, and committed "hot jazz" musicians appear at most surprising places, keeping Django´s music alive.