“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo

What is Gypsy Jazz?

Gypsy jazz (also known as Gypsy swing or Hot club jazz) is a style of jazz music often said to have been started by guitarist Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt in the 1930s. Because its origins are in France it is often called by the French name, "jazz Manouche", or alternatively, "Manouche jazz", even in English language sources. The term is now commonly used for this style of music. Django was foremost among a group of Romani guitarists working in and around Paris in the 1930s through the 1950s, a group which also included the brothers Baro, Sarane, and Matelo Ferret and Reinhardt's brother Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt.

Many of the musicians in this style worked in Paris in various popular Musette ensembles. The Musette style waltz remains an important component in the gypsy jazz repertoire. Reinhardt was noted for combining a dark, chromatic gypsy flavor with the swing articulation of the period. This combination is critical to this style of jazz. In addition to this, his approach continues to form the basis for contemporary gypsy jazz guitar. Reinhardt's most famous group, the Quintette du Hot Club de France, also brought fame to jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli.

Django Reinhardt, the man behind the style…

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