Tag: Django Reinhardt

Happy Birthday Django Reinhardt

Hello from Taipei, Taiwan! Today is Django Reinhardt’s 106th birthday! I was hoping to have the time to transcribe a lot of Django solos this week, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Nonetheless, I managed to wake up earlier today to transcribe one of my favorite Django solos from his rome sessions in 1949. The song is “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (you can download the transcription at the bottom of this post). Django Reinhardt. The man to whom I owe my entire career (OK, my family too). Truly one of the rare geniuses of 20th century. He called himself a jazz musician, but I think he was selling himself short (and he wasn’t exactly Mr. Humble); while he mainly used jazz to express himself musically, he was far more than just a jazz musician. He […]

Gypsy Jazz Lessons

Please read the lessons page for general information about my lessons. So Gypsy Jazz interests you, and you don’t know where to start. You may have many questions concerning Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz. You have read a lot of contradictory information on the Internet and you are more confused than ever. I can help you navigate the ambiguous world of Gypsy Jazz. For many years now, I have been deeply involved with this style of music, and the Gypsies who play it; you can read more about this in my bio. To me Django Reinhardt is not necessarily Gypsy Jazz, and even then, the term Gypsy Jazz can mean different things to different people. I would suggest that you read some of my articles on these subject matters: Sinti Culture Django Legacy, the birth of Gypsy […]

Django Legacy – The birth of Gypsy Jazz

This article originally appeared on Djangobooks.com’s February 2015 blog. This version may differ in that it may have been updated since its original publication. Since the early 2000s, there has been a global surge in the popularity of Gypsy Jazz and the music of Django Reinhardt. Many articles have been written about it, and many myths have been perpetuated as to the origins of Gypsy Jazz. As of this date of January 23rd (Django’s birthday!), a quick Google search on the term “Gypsy Jazz” leads us to many pages (from Wikipedia, to the website of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, to various reputable international news organizations, etc.) with inaccurate information as to the history of Gypsy Jazz. In some instances, Klezmer bands are considered Gypsy Jazz! I must admit that I struggled a little bit with […]

Sinti culture, language, and the origin of the name “Django”

This article originally appeared on Djangobooks.com’s August 2014 blog. This version may differ in that it may have been updated since its original publication.   PREFACE Greetings dear readers. If you are reading this, then you are probably interested in the music of Django Reinhardt, or perhaps, interested in Romani culture. This article is about Sinti culture, Sinti language (Romanes), and the origin of the name Django. Before I begin, I would like to stress that this is, in no way, a scholarly article. This is strictly an account of my personal experiences. Furthermore, I am not a linguist nor do I consider myself a full-on expert on Gypsy culture; I can only talk about what I have personally observed over the years. Many scholarly articles/books have been written on this subject, and I will leave […]