Django Reinhardt / Jan 23, 1910 - May 16, 1953

Happy birthday to the legendary Romani-gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, one of the most influential musicians to come out of 20th century Europe.

Django made the guitar the star before the amplified era, with melodies to delicately massage the toughest of ears. Often in partnership with French violinist Stephane Grappelli & their Quintette du Hot Club de France, the 1930's recordings stand as standard-bearers for some of the most advanced harmonic runs of the day and jazz on the whole were given legitimacy in Europe by the time Django went electric in '46.

His fast fingers (even if he could only use three!) provided a fresh approach to swing. He was an inspiration on most jazz guitar to follow, as well as Western (country) music. He was a unique stylist on the guitar that made Les Paul, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, Toni Iommi, George Benson, Charlie Christian, BB King, Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson and others take note. Now there is a gypsy swing revival scene.

Check out some of his music on this YouTube supermix of Django recordings.

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