Reinhardt in 1946
|Birth name||Jean Reinhardt|
|Born||23 January 1910|
Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium
|Died||16 May 1953 43) (aged|
|Genres||Jazz, gypsy jazz, bebop, Romani music|
|Instruments||Guitar, violin, banjo|
|Associated acts||Stéphane Grappelli, Quintette du Hot Club de France|
Jean Reinhardt (23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) stage name Django Reinhardt (French: [dʒãŋɡo ʁɛjnaʁt] or [dʒɑ̃ɡo ʁenɑʁt] ), was a Belgian-born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer, regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century. He was the first jazz talent to emerge from Europe and remains the most significant. :cover
The Romani, colloquially known as Gypsies or Roma, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally itinerant, living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent, from the Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab regions of modern-day India.
With violinist Stéphane Grappelli,Reinhardt formed the Paris-based Quintette du Hot Club de France in 1934. The group was among the first to play jazz that featured the guitar as a lead instrument. Reinhardt recorded in France with many visiting American musicians, including Coleman Hawkins and Benny Carter, and briefly toured the United States with Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1946. He died suddenly of a stroke at the age of 43.
Stéphane Grappelli was a French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934. It was one of the first all-string jazz bands. He has been called "the grandfather of jazz violinists" and continued playing concerts around the world well into his 80s.
The Quintette du Hot Club de France, often abbreviated "QdHCdF" or "QHCF", was a jazz group founded in France in 1934 by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli and active in one form or another until 1948.
Coleman Randolph Hawkins, nicknamed "Hawk" and sometimes "Bean", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. One of the first prominent jazz musicians on his instrument, as Joachim E. Berendt explained: "there were some tenor players before him, but the instrument was not an acknowledged jazz horn". While Hawkins is strongly associated with the swing music and big band era, he had a role in the development of bebop in the 1940s.
Reinhardt's most popular compositions have become standards within gypsy jazz, including "Minor Swing","Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42", and "Nuages". Jazz guitarist Frank Vignola claims that nearly every major popular-music guitarist in the world has been influenced by Reinhardt. Over the last few decades, annual Django festivals have been held throughout Europe and the U.S., and a biography has been written about his life. In February 2017, the Berlin International Film Festival held the world premiere of the French film, Django.
Gypsy jazz is a style of jazz generally accepted to have been started by the Romani guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt in Paris during the 1930s. Because its origins are in France, and Reinhardt was from the Manouche Roma clan, gypsy jazz is often called by the French name "jazz manouche", or alternatively, "manouche jazz" in English language sources.
Frank Vignola is an American jazz guitarist. He has played in the genres of swing, fusion, gypsy jazz, classical, and pop.
The Berlin International Film Festival, usually called the Berlinale, is a film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany. Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the festival has been held every February since 1978 and is one of the "Big Three" alongside the Venice Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.
Reinhardt was born on 23 January 1910 in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium,into a Belgian family of Manouche Romani descent. His father was Jean Eugene Weiss, but domiciled in Paris with his wife, he went by Jean-Baptiste Reinhardt, his wife's surname, to avoid French military conscription. His mother, Laurence Reinhardt, was a dancer. The birth certificate refers to "Jean Reinhart, son of Jean Baptiste Reinhart, artist, and Laurence Reinhart, housewife, domiciled in Paris".
Liberchies is a village in the municipality of Pont-à-Celles, in the Belgian province of Hainaut.
Pont-à-Celles is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006, Pont-à-Celles had a total population of 16,292. The total area is 55.73 km² which gives a population density of 292 inhabitants per km².
A number of authors have repeated the claim that Reinhardt's nickname, Django, is Romani for "I awake"; 4–5 however, it may also simply have been a diminutive, or local Walloon version, of "Jean". Reinhardt spent most of his youth in Romani encampments close to Paris, where he started playing the violin, banjo and guitar. He became adept at stealing chickens, which was viewed as a noble skill by the Romani, because part of their means of survival on the road was to steal from the non-Gypsy world around them. :5 :14 His father reportedly played music in a family band comprising himself and seven brothers; a surviving photograph shows this band including his father on piano.:
Romani is any of several languages of the Romani people belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. According to Ethnologue, seven varieties of Romani are divergent enough to be considered languages of their own. The largest of these are Vlax Romani, Balkan Romani (600,000), and Sinte Romani (300,000). Some Romani communities speak mixed languages based on the surrounding language with retained Romani-derived vocabulary – these are known by linguists as Para-Romani varieties, rather than dialects of the Romani language itself.
Walloon is a Romance language that is spoken in much of Wallonia in Belgium, in some villages of Northern France and in the northeast part of Wisconsin until the mid 20th century and in some parts of Canada. It belongs to the langue d'oïl language family, whose most prominent member is the French language. The historical background of its formation was the territorial extension since 980 of the Principality of Liège to the south and west.
Reinhardt was attracted to music at an early age, first playing the violin. At the age of 12 he received a banjo-guitar as a gift. He quickly learned to play, mimicking the fingerings of musicians he watched, who would have included local virtuoso players of the day such as Jean "Poulette" Castro and Auguste "Gusti" Malha, as well as from his uncle Guiligou, who played violin, banjo and guitar. 28 Reinhardt was able to make a living playing music by the time he was 15. He received little formal education and acquired the rudiments of literacy only in adult life. :13:
At the age of 17 Reinhardt married Florine "Bella" Mayer, a girl from the same gypsy settlement, according to gypsy custom (although not an official marriage under French law). 9 The following year he recorded for the first time. :9 On these recordings, made in 1928, Reinhardt plays the "banjo" (actually the banjo-guitar) accompanying the accordionists Maurice Alexander, Jean Vaissade and Victor Marceau, and the singer Maurice Chaumel. His name was now drawing international attention, such as from British bandleader Jack Hylton, who came to France just to hear him play. :10 Hylton offered him a job on the spot, and Reinhardt accepted. :10:
Before he had a chance to start with the band, however, Reinhardt nearly died. On the night of November 2, 1928, Reinhardt was going to bed in the wagon that he and his wife shared in the gypsy caravan. Apparently, he knocked over a candle, which ignited the extremely flammable celluloid that his wife used to make artificial flowers. The wagon was quickly engulfed in flames. The couple escaped, but Reinhardt suffered extensive burns over half his body. 10During his 18 month hospitalization, doctors apparently recommended amputation for his badly damaged right leg. Reinhardt refused the surgery and was eventually able to walk with the aid of a cane. :
More crucial to his music, the fourth and fifth fingers of Reinhardt’s left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again. 43–44 :10 Reinhardt applied himself to intensely relearning his craft, however, making use of a new guitar bought for him by his brother, Joseph Reinhardt, who was also an accomplished guitarist. While he never regained the use of those two fingers, Reinhardt regained his musical mastery by focusing on his left index and middle fingers, using the two injured fingers only for chord work. :31–35:
Within a year of the fire, in 1929, Bella Mayer gave birth to their son, Henri "Lousson" Reinhardt. Soon thereafter, the couple split up. The son eventually took the surname of his mother's new husband. As Lousson Baumgartner, the son himself became an accomplished musician who would go on to record with his biological father.
After parting from his wife and son, Reinhardt traveled throughout France, getting occasional jobs playing music at small clubs. He had no definite goals, living a hand-to-mouth existence, apparently spending his earnings as quickly as he made them. 11 Accompanying him on his travels was his new girlfriend, Sophie Ziegler. Nicknamed “Naguine,” she and Reinhardt were distant cousins. :11:
During the years after the fire, Reinhardt was rehabilitating and experimenting on the guitar that his brother had given him. After having played a broad spectrum of music, he was introduced to American jazz by an acquaintance, Émile Savitry, whose record collection included such musical luminaries as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Hearing their music apparently triggered in Reinhardt a vision and goal of becoming a jazz professional. 12:
While developing his interest in jazz, Reinhardt met Stéphane Grappelli, a young violinist with similar musical interests. He and Grappelli would frequently jam together, accompanied by a loose circle of other musicians. 26:
Reinhardt would acquire his first Selmer guitar in the mid-1930s.
From 1934 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Reinhardt and Grappelli worked together as the principal soloists of their newly formed Hot Club, in Paris. It became the most accomplished and innovative European jazz group of the period.
Reinhardt's brother Joseph and Roger Chaput also played on guitar, and Louis Vola was on bass. 45–49 The Quintette was one of the few well-known jazz ensembles composed only of stringed instruments. :64–66:
In Paris on 14 March 1933, Reinhardt recorded two takes each of "Parce-que je vous aime" and "Si, j'aime Suzy", vocal numbers with lots of guitar fills and guitar support. He used three guitarists along with an accordion lead, violin, and bass. In August 1934, he made other recordings with more than one guitar (Joseph Reinhardt, Roger Chaput, and Reinhardt), including the first recording by the Quintette. In both years the great majority of their recordings featured a wide variety of horns, often in multiples, piano, and other instruments,but the all-string instrumentation is the one most often adopted by emulators of the Hot Club sound.
Decca Records in the United States released three records of Quintette songs with Reinhardt on guitar, and one other, credited to "Stephane Grappelli & His Hot 4 with Django Reinhardt", in 1935.
Reinhardt also played and recorded with many American jazz musicians, such as Adelaide Hall, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, and Rex Stewart (who later stayed in Paris). He participated in a jam session and radio performance with Louis Armstrong. Later in his career, Reinhardt played with Dizzy Gillespie in France. Also in the neighborhood was the artistic salon R-26, at which Reinhardt and Grappelli performed regularly as they developed their unique musical style.
In 1938 Reinhardt's quintet played to thousands at an all-star show held in London's Kilburn State auditorium. 92 While playing, he noticed American film actor Eddie Cantor in the front row. When their set ended, Cantor rose to his feet, then went up on stage and kissed Reinhardt's hand, paying no concern to the audience. :93 A few weeks later the quintet played at the London Palladium. :93:
When World War II broke out, the original quintet was on tour in the United Kingdom. Reinhardt returned to Paris at once, 98–99 leaving his wife in the UK. Grappelli remained in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war. Reinhardt re-formed the quintet, with Hubert Rostaing on clarinet replacing Grappelli.:
While he tried to continue with his music, war with the Nazis presented Reinhardt with two potentially catastrophic obstacles. First, he was a gypsy. Second, he was a jazz musician.
Beginning in 1933, all German Gypsies were barred from living in cities, herded into settlement camps, and routinely sterilized. Gypsies were required to wear a brown Gypsy ID triangle sewn on their chest, 168 much like the yellow Stars of David that Jews had to subsequently wear. During the war, Gypsies were systematically killed in concentration camps. :169 In France, Gypsies were used as slave labor on farms and factories. :169 Some 600,000 Gypsies throughout Europe were eventually killed. :154:
The German attitude toward jazz had been hostile throughout the 20th century. 82 Between 1916 and 1920, all jazz had been officially banned throughout Germany. Officially suppressed between 1922 and 1933, Hitler banned most jazz when he came to power. Apparently, he and Joseph Goebbels viewed jazz as part of an international conspiracy to undermine Germany's greatness. :154 It would not be until the mid-1950s that Germany reopened itself to European jazz. :82:
As a gypsy jazz musician, Reinhardt was doubly vulnerable when the Germans occupied France. His first attempt at escape from Occupied France led to capture. Fortunately for him, a jazz-loving German, Luftwaffe Officer Dietrich Schulz-Köhn, released him back to France.Reinhardt made a second attempt a few days later, but he was stopped in the middle of the night by Swiss border guards who forced him to return to Paris.
While under constant threat, Reinhardt settled back into Paris, playing and composing. One of his songs, "Nuages," 93 During a concert at the Salle Pleyel, the popularity of the song was such that the crowd made him replay the song three times in a row. :93 The 78 of the song sold over 100,000 copies. :93became an unofficial anthem in Paris to signify hope for liberation. :
Since the Nazis officially disapproved of jazz,Reinhardt tried to develop other musical directions. He wrote a Mass for the Gypsies and a symphony. Since he did not read music, Reinhardt worked with an assistant to notate what he was improvising. His modernist piece Rhythm Futur was also intended to be acceptable to the Nazis.
In 1943, Reinhardt married Sophie "Naguine" Ziegler in Salbris. They had a son, Babik Reinhardt, who later became a respected guitarist in his own right.Unlike the estimated 600,000 Gypsies who were interned and killed in the Porajmos, Reinhardt survived the war without injury.
After the war, Reinhardt rejoined Grappelli in the UK. In the autumn of 1946, he made his first tour in the United States, debuting at Cleveland Music Hallas a special guest soloist with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. He played with many notable musicians and composers, such as Maury Deutsch. At the end of the tour, Reinhardt played two nights at Carnegie Hall in New York City; he received a great ovation and took six curtain calls on the first night.
Despite his pride in touring with Ellington (one of two letters to Grappelli relates his excitement), he was not fully integrated into the band. He played a few tunes at the end of the show, backed by Ellington, with no special arrangements written for him. After the tour, Reinhardt secured an engagement at Café Society Uptown, where he played four solos a day, backed by the resident band. These performances drew large audiences. 138–139 Having failed to bring his usual Selmer Modèle Jazz, he played on a borrowed electric guitar, which he felt hampered the delicacy of his style. :138 He had been promised jobs in California, but they failed to develop. Tired of waiting, Reinhardt returned to France in February 1947. :141:
After his return, Reinhardt re-immersed himself in Gypsy life, finding it difficult to adjust to the postwar world. He sometimes showed up for scheduled concerts without a guitar or amplifier, or wandered off to the park or beach. On a few occasions he refused to get out of bed. Reinhardt developed a reputation among his band, fans, and managers as extremely unreliable. He skipped sold-out concerts to "walk to the beach" or "smell the dew." 145 During this period he continued to attend the R-26 artistic salon in Montmartre, improvising with his devoted collaborator, Stéphane Grappelli.:
In Rome in 1949, Reinhardt recruited three Italian jazz players (on bass, piano, and snare drum) and recorded over 60 tunes in an Italian studio. He united with Grappelli, and used his acoustic Selmer-Maccaferri. The recording was issued for the first time in the late 1950s.
Back in Paris, in June 1950, Reinhardt was invited to join an entourage to welcome the return of Benny Goodman. He also attended a reception for Goodman, who after the war ended had asked Reinhardt to join him in the U.S. He asked him again, and out of politeness, Reinhardt agreed. But he later had second thoughts about what role he could play alongside Goodman, who was the "King of Swing," and remained in France. 251:
In 1951, Reinhardt retired to Samois-sur-Seine, near Fontainebleau, where he lived until his death. He continued to play in Paris jazz clubs and began playing electric guitar. (He often used a Selmer fitted with an electric pickup, despite his initial hesitation about the instrument.) In his final recordings, made with his Nouvelle Quintette in the last few months of his life, he had begun moving in a new musical direction, in which he assimilated the vocabulary of bebop and fused it with his own melodic style.
On 16 May 1953, while walking from the Gare de Fontainebleau–Avon Station after playing in a Paris club, he collapsed outside his house from a brain hemorrhage. 160 It was a Saturday, and it took a full day for a doctor to arrive. :161 Reinhardt was declared dead on arrival at the hospital in Fontainebleau, at the age of 43.:
Reinhardt's second son, Babik, became a guitarist in the contemporary jazz style. His first son, Lousson, was more of a traditionalist. He followed the Romani lifestyle and rarely performed in public. After Reinhardt died, his brother Joseph at first swore to abandon music, but he was persuaded to perform and record again. Joseph's son Markus Reinhardt is a violinist in the Romani style.
A third generation of direct descendants has developed as musicians: David Reinhardt, Reinhardt's grandson (by his son Babik), leads his own trio. Dallas Baumgartner, a great-grandson by Lousson, is a guitarist who travels with the Romani and keeps a low public profile. A slightly younger distant relative, violinist Schnuckenack Reinhardt, became famous in Germany as a performer of gypsy music and gypsy jazz up to his death in 2006, and also assisted in keeping Reinhardt's legacy alive through the period following his death.
Reinhardt is regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time, and the first important European jazz musician to make a major contribution with jazz guitar.During his career he wrote nearly 100 songs, according to jazz guitarist Frank Vignola.
Using a Selmer Guitar in the mid-1930s, his style took on new volume and expressiveness.Despite his physical handicap, he played mainly using his index and middle fingers, and invented a distinctive style of jazz guitar.
For about a decade after Reinhardt's death, interest in his musical style was minimal. In the fifties, bebop superseded swing in jazz, rock and roll took off, and electric instruments became dominant in popular music. Since the mid-sixties, there has been a revival of interest in Reinhardt's music, a revival that has extended into the 21st century, with annual festivals and periodic tribute concerts. His devotees included classical guitarist Julian Bream and country guitarist Chet Atkins, who considered him one of the ten greatest guitarists of the twentieth century. cover:
The Allman Brothers Band song "Jessica" was written by Dickey Betts in tribute to Reinhardt.Woody Allen's 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown , the story of a Django Reinhardt-like character, mentions Reinhardt and includes actual recordings in the film. "Django was the definitive genius on the guitar, and the depth of his gift was so spectacular," says Allen.
Jazz guitarists in the U.S., such as Charlie Byrd and Wes Montgomery, were influenced by his style. In fact, Byrd, who lived from 1925 to 1999, said that Reinhardt was his primary influence. Guitarist Mike Peters notes that "the word 'genius' is bantered about too much. But in jazz, Louis Armstrong was a genius, Duke Ellington was another one, and Reinhardt was also."Grisman adds, "As far as I'm concerned, no one since has come anywhere close to Django Reinhardt as an improviser or technician."
The popularity of gypsy jazz has generated an increasing number of festivals, such as the Festival Django Reinhardt held every last weekend of June since 1983 in Samois-sur-Seine (France),the various DjangoFests held throughout Europe and the US, and Django in June, an annual camp for Gypsy jazz musicians and aficionados.
In February 2017, the Berlin International Film Festival held the world premiere of Django, a French film directed by Etienne Comar. The movie covers Django's escape from Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 and the fact that even under "constant danger, flight and the atrocities committed against his family", he continued composing and performing.Reinhardt's music was re-recorded for the film by the Dutch jazz band Rosenberg Trio with lead guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg.
The documentary film, Djangomania! was released in 2005. The hour-long film was directed and written by Jamie Kastner, who traveled throughout the world to show the influence of Django's music in various countries.
In 1984 the Kool Jazz Festival, held in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, was dedicated entirely to Reinhardt. Performers included Grappelli, Benny Carter, and Mike Peters with his group of seven musicians. The festival was organized by George Wein.Reinhardt is celebrated annually in the village of Liberchies, his birthplace.
Numerous musicians have written and recorded tributes to Reinhardt.
Many guitar players and other musicians have expressed admiration for Reinhardt or have cited him as a major influence. Jeff Beck described Reinhardt as "by far the most astonishing guitar player ever" and "quite superhuman".
Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, both of whom lost fingers in accidents, were inspired by Reinhardt's example of becoming an accomplished guitar player despite his injuries. Garcia was quoted in June 1985 in Frets Magazine:
His technique is awesome! Even today, nobody has really come to the state that he was playing at. As good as players are, they haven't gotten to where he is. There's a lot of guys that play fast and a lot of guys that play clean, and the guitar has come a long way as far as speed and clarity go, but nobody plays with the whole fullness of expression that Django has. I mean, the combination of incredible speed – all the speed you could possibly want – but also the thing of every note have a specific personality. You don't hear it. I really haven't heard it anywhere but with Django.
Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch, members of Paul McCartney's band Wings, have mentioned him as an inspiration.
Andrew Latimer, of the band Camel, has stated that he was influenced by Reinhardt.
Willie Nelson has been a lifelong Reinhardt fan, stating in his memoir, "This was a man who changed my musical life by giving me a whole new perspective on the guitar and, on an even more profound level, on my relationship with sound...During my formative years, as I listened to Django's records, especially songs like 'Nuages' that I would play for the rest of my life, I studied his technique. Even more, I studied his gentleness. I love the human sound he gave his acoustic guitar."
Reinhardt recorded over 900 sides in his recording career, from 1928 to 1953, the majority as sides of the then-prevalent 78-RPM records, with the remainder as acetates, transcription discs, private and off-air recordings (of radio broadcasts), and part of a film soundtrack. Only one session (eight tracks) from March 1953 was ever recorded specifically for album release by Norman Granz in the then-new LP format, but Reinhardt died before the album could be released. In his earliest recordings Reinhardt played banjo (or, more accurately, banjo-guitar) accompanying accordionists and singers on dances and popular tunes of the day, with no jazz content, whereas in the last recordings before his death he played amplified guitar in the bebop idiom with a pool of younger, more modern French musicians.
A full chronological listing of his lifetime recorded output is available from the source cited here,and an index of individual tunes is available from the source cited here. A few fragments of film performance (without original sound) also survive, as does one complete performance with sound, of the tune "J'Attendrai" performed with the Quintet in 1938 for the short film Le Jazz Hot.
Reinhardt's recorded output has been re-released on a large number of LPs, cassettes and CDs since his death and also the start of the LP era. Of particular mention is Intégrale Django Reinhardt, volumes 1–20 (40 CDs), released by the French company Frémeaux from 2002 to 2005, which strove to include every known track on which he played.
The following list of reissues is only a selection; as at December 2015, www.discogs.com listed more than 560 such albums; a full listing is available from the source cited here.
A small number of waltzes composed by Reinhardt in his youth were never recorded by the composer, but were retained in the repertoire of his associates and several are still played today. They came to light via recordings by Matelo Ferret in 1960 (the waltzes "Montagne Sainte-Genevieve", "Gagoug", "Chez Jacquet" and "Choti"; Disques Vogue (F)EPL7740) and 1961 ("Djalamichto" and "En Verdine"; Disques Vogue (F)EPL7829). The first four are now available on Matelo's CD Tziganskaïa and Other Rare Recordings, released by Hot Club Records (subsequently reissued as Tziganskaïa: The Django Reinhardt Waltzes); "Chez Jacquet" was also recorded by Baro Ferret in 1966.
The names "Gagoug" and "Choti" were reportedly conferred by Django's widow Naguine on request from Matelo, who had learned the tunes without names. Django also worked on composing a Mass for use by the gypsies, which was not completed although an 8-minute extract exists, played by the organist Léo Chauliac for Reinhardt's benefit, via a 1944 radio broadcast; this can be found on the CD release "Gipsy Jazz School" and also on volume 12 of the "Intégrale Django Reinhardt" CD compilation.
Martin Taylor, MBE is a British jazz guitarist who has performed in groups, guitar ensembles, and as an accompanist.
Stochelo Rosenberg is a Gypsy jazz guitarist who leads the Rosenberg Trio.
Biréli Lagrène is a French jazz guitarist. He came to prominence in the 1980s for his Django Reinhardt-influenced style. He often performs in swing, jazz fusion and post-bop styles.
Elek Bacsik was a Hungarian-born American jazz guitarist and violinist. He was the cousin of guitarist Django Reinhardt.
Christian Escoudé is a French Gypsy jazz guitarist.
Tchavolo Schmitt is a gypsy jazz guitarist. Schmitt performed as a member of various ensembles in the 1970s. Then he settled in Strasbourg and left the professional circuit for a time, releasing solo albums in 2000. He played Miraldo in the Tony Gatlif film Swing.
Babik Reinhardt was a guitarist and the younger son of gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt by Django's second wife, Naguine. His elder half brother Lousson, who was Django's son by his first wife, Bella, was also a guitarist, but the two grew up in different families and rarely met.
Joseph "Jimmy" Rosenberg is a Dutch Sinto-Romani guitarist known for his virtuoso playing of gypsy jazz.
"Nuages" is one of the best-known compositions by Django Reinhardt. He recorded at least thirteen versions of the tune, which is a jazz standard and a mainstay of the gypsy swing repertoire. English and French lyrics have been added to the piece which was originally an instrumental work. The title translated into English is "Clouds", but the adaptation with English lyrics is titled "It's the Bluest Kind of Blues".
Fapy Lafertin is a jazz guitarist of Romani ethnicity, one of the foremost contemporary exponents of the Belgian-Dutch style of Gypsy jazz.
"Minor Swing" is gypsy jazz tune composed by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. It was recorded by The Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1937. It was recorded five other times throughout Reinhardt's career and is considered to be one of his signature compositions.
Florin Niculescu is a Romanian violinist of Romani (Gypsy) ethnicity.
Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt (1912-1982) was the younger brother of the famous jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and played rhythm guitar on most of Django's pre-war recordings, especially those with the Paris-based Quintette du Hot Club de France between 1934 and 1939. From 1943 onwards he also made recordings which show him to be a gypsy jazz stylist of some distinction, and with his own guitar voice somewhat distinct from Django's. He was an early pioneer of the amplified jazz guitar in France and performed for years on a home-made instrument of his own design.
Henri Baumgartner (1929–1992), known professionally as Lousson Reinhardt, was a French gypsy jazz guitarist and the first son of Django Reinhardt by his first wife, Florine "Bella" Mayer.
Boulou Ferré is a French virtuoso jazz guitarist, composer, arranger, and improviser. He is the brother of Elios Ferré, also a jazz musician, with whom he has recorded widely. He has a repertoire that includes jazz and classical music. He is considered one of the greatest contemporary musicians of the manouche tradition and has contributed to the genre through his knowledge of both jazz and classical music and his interest in the contrapuntal music of J. S. Bach.
Franz "Schnuckenack" Reinhardt was a gypsy jazz musician (violinist), composer and interpreter. He was considered the "great violin virtuoso of Sinti music." He was a German Sinto; his music was mostly published and categorized under the contemporary names gypsy jazz or "Musik deutscher Zigeuner". He "made this music accessible to a broad public" and made the most significant contribution to the presentation of gypsy music and jazz in Germany into a concert form. He was the pioneer of this style of music in Germany and directly or indirectly inspired many of the succeeding generation of gypsy jazz players in that country, as well as preserving on record a great many folkloric and gypsy compositions for future generations.
Ian Cruickshank was an English electric and acoustic guitarist most associated with the blues-rock and gypsy jazz genres, also well known in the U.K. as an educator, author and columnist, record producer and record label owner, festival organiser and promoter of artists in the gypsy jazz world. He achieved some success in the 1960s in the Keef Hartley Band playing electric guitar under the pseudonym Spit James before becoming enamoured of the gypsy jazz style originated by Django Reinhardt in the 1930s and devoting almost all of his energies to educating, performing and promoting activities in this area up till his death in 2017. He published several influential books on gypsy jazz, was producer and music co-ordinator for the TV Documentary Django Legacy, was the owner of the Fret Records record label, and organised the U.K. Gypsy Jazz Guitar Festival annually from 1997 to 2000.