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Django Reinhardt

The father of gypsy jazz

Instrument: Guitar, violin, banjo

Birth name: Jean Reinhardt

(23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953)

Who is Django Reinhardt?

Jean “Django” Reinhardt was born in Belgium in 1910 into a family of Romani musicians. His extraordinary talent for music was apparent from a young age as he mastered the violin, banjo, and eventually the guitar. Despite a devastating fire in his late teens that severely damaged his left hand, Reinhardt developed a unique fingering method on the guitar that compensated for his injury.

Reinhardt is best known for his creation of a new style of jazz, often referred to as gypsy jazz or “jazz manouche”. His innovative approach combined the traditional musical elements of his Romani heritage with the complex structures of jazz, resulting in a highly distinctive and influential sound.