On morning of the 16th of May 1953 Django goes into his favorite café at the Place de Marché in Samois. He plays, as usual, a part of Billiard (picture on the right), drinks his café and talks to friends. However, on that day he complains about strong headaches and then soon leaves off to go home again.
Home returned he just breaks down...
Django immediately is brought to the hospital of Fontainebleau by an ambulance, where Django Reinhardt, just 43 years old, dies on the evening on 16th of May 1953 by result of a brain haemorrhage. His death is as his life and his playing: fast and furious.
One of the greatest guitarists of the world, an innovator, virtuoso and vast source of inspiration, one that will influence generations of the following guitarists, is dead.
His burial is fillid with hundreds of friends, many of his fans, admirers and admirers to come. Since that day his grave has become a sort of "place of pilgrimage" for many lovers of his music.
However, unfortunately, that didn´t avoid already desecration of his grave. Originally at his funeral his brother Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt had added a guitar as a grave addition on the gravestone (picture on the top left), which has been stolen by strangers, in the meantime. It was replaced by a guitar made out of stone (image middle) in the meantime.
Many generations of guitarists called and also still even today call Django Reinhardt as one of their biggest sources of musical inspiration. Amongst them many different famous jazz- and rock guitarists are to be found as for example:
Charly Christian, Barney Kessel, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Hänns´che Weiss, Moreno Winterstein - as of course all of todays Sintiguitarrists such as Stochelo Rosenberg, Bireli Lagrene, Dorado Schmitt, Tschavolo Schmitt, David Reinhardt, Noe Reinhardt, Romane and many, many others more.
And thus Django´s heritage is still alive until today, and even more today, in a real active JazzManouche-community.
The one who´s is interested in further informations, may also read a surely detailed and well made biography about Django Reinhardt here.
Read more -> Django Reinhardt - the Painter
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