About Symphonic Django

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Musical Heritage

Django Reinhardt´s music is more popular than ever. What was originally a French subculture grew in the 1980´s not only into a european phenomenon, but developed into a global trend. There are now thousands of musicians exploring the magical universe of Django all over the world and ”Django” festivals in more than 40 countries. Django Reinhardt and his equivalent contemporary Stéphane Grappelli perfected a European jazzform in the legendary Le Quintette du Hot Club de France that toured during the 1930´s. Django gave jazz a european voice, a european expression. His music was influenced by the gipsy society that he originated from, american jazz, and swingmusic, and the diverse music scene in Paris where he made a name for himself.

Classical ambitions

But the autodidact self-taught guitar genius showed a growing interest for art music throughout his career. Despite his poor reading and writing skills – he was literally illiterate - he left behind a significant number of distinguished compositions which he dreamed of performing in a ”symphonic” setting. More than one of his fingerprint compositions was originally written with a symphonic sound in mind, for instance Manoir de Mes Reves and Diminishing Blackness (worktitled Go tell Mozart.) With one exeption, a performance of Django Reinhardt´s Bolero complementing Ravel´s famous composition bearing the same name, his symphonic ambitions were never realised...until 2005.

Given the ambitious task, "A posthumous fulfillment of Django Reinhardt´s lifelong symphonic dream" the talented swedish arranger Per Ekdahl orchestrated 12 of Django Reinhardt´s compositions for symphony orchestra. Given the ambitious task, a posthumous fulfillment of Django Reinhardt´s lifelong dream, the requirement was quality in every detail; his most memorable tunes were carefully studied, Django´s original harmonisation laid foundation for Ekdahl´s inspired orchestration.