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Django's World: Hot Club Jazz

Django Reinhardt lost two fingers in an accident, but developed a unique style around his disability.
William P. Gottlieb
/
Library of Congress via flickr.com
Django Reinhardt lost two fingers in an accident, but developed a unique style around his disability.

Manouche Jazz, commonly known as "Gypsy Jazz," is a blend of traditional Roma music and swing jazz. Originating in Paris in the early 1930s, it was first popularized by the Quintette du Hot Club de France, led by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli. A group usually consists of an acoustic lead guitar, one or more rhythm guitars, a bass and often a violin or saxophone. Drums are usually absent, as the guitar and bass are played with a percussive rhythm.

The style remains popular today: Many jazz groups in Europe and the U.S. continue the tradition. If you come across a jazz group with the words "Hot Club" or "Django" in its name, it won't take many guesses to figure out what style of music it plays. Hear five songs from the genre's founders and modern jazz musicians below.

Copyright 2008 90.5 WESA

Shaunna Morrison Machosky