Born as Jean-Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt in the belgian village Liberchies in the near of Charleroi on January 23rd 1910, Django Reinhardt was to become one of the most famous guitarrists worldwide and from all times.
Growning up in an absolutely musical family (his father already has been a very famous musician in french/belgian Gypsy-circles), the young Django learns to play music at first on a Banjo at the age of 10. Completely without reading or playing any sheetmusic and learning all things completely autodidactical, his musical genius was to develop very fast in his young years.
Together with his mother Negros and his younger brother Joseph "Nin-Nin", young Django grew up mainly in the subburbs of Paris in the early years of 1920 (see also Django Reinhardt - Private Life).
Soon Django played really good just after a couple of years of practise, but in these few years he was using every free minute that he had for that purpose. He played so well that he received his first invitations around the age of about 12 years (image right) to play concerts in the band of his uncle. Very soon he had made his name in the circles of musicians, so well that Django who is not even 16 years old, around 1926 he was hired from Vetese Guérino to play for his orchestra. Guérino was a very famous accordeonist in Paris at that time (image left below, Guerino middle, Django 2. f.r.) who played at the "Bals musettes" (so called "dancefloor parties" that were really hip that time all over France). Very soon followed other musicians of the french metropol Paris that hired Django for accompaning them in the following years.
His mother Negros buys him his first guitar at the age of 16 years and young Django starts to work real hard and practise playing music even more.
Pretty fast Django changes over to play the guitar permanently, always interested in new musical challenges. Especially he is interested in the "new sound" of JAZZ of the early and roaring 1920ies that swapped over from America to France and was beeing played in the parisian nightclubs by many american musicians that had stayed over there in the old world after the 1. worldwar.
Django learned everything that he could hear and copied it somehow so very fast, soaking up sound and music like a sponge, like with an almost "photographic musical memory". His genius in playing grows incredibly fast and soon he becomes the "inside tip" under the parisian musicians of that time.
In 1928 at the age of around 18 years a serious event abruptly interrupts his young growing career as a musician. A fire in his caravan injured him so heavily that he suffered from heavy combustions of 2nd degree on his whole left side of the body including his leg, arm and hand and he had to stop playing music for almost more than one year completely staying in a hospital.
Read more -> Django Reinhardt - Guitar Maestro (2/4)
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