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Gypsy Jazz

Django Reinhardt playing an oval-hole Selmer
Image via Wikipedia

What is Gypsy Jazz Music

Gypsy Jazz Music (or Gypsy Swing, as it is also known) was started in the 1930’s by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt. Because it all started basically in France, it is also known by the French name of “Jazz manouche” or “manouche Jazz”, even by people who only speak English (do they know what they’re saying??)  Django worked with a group of other Gypsy guitarists around Paris between the 1930’s and 50’s, oh la la, it must have been fantastique!

Representative Gypsy Jazz Musicians

Gypsy Jazz Music is pretty difficult to master you know, not just anybody can play it, particularly the guitar which really is a unique discipline, but is responsible for many of the sounds which are definitive of Gypsy Jazz music. Other Gypsy Jazz musicians which were heavily on the Paris scene with Django include the brothers Baro, Matelo and Sarane Ferret, and Django’s own brother Joseph “Nin Nin” Reinhardt. Django’s most famous group was called the Quintette du Hot Club de France which was largely responsible for the rise in fame of one of their jazz violinists, Stephane Grappelli. It was all happening in Paris wasn’t it?

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