1. Django was the first and only European Jazz performer—(Practically) the inventor of the Jazz guitar.
2. He was born in Belgium—January 23, 1910, he was illiterate.
3. At 12, someone gave him a 6-string, banjo guitar—he learned to play without any formal training by watching the way other Gypsy musicians played.
4. At 17, he came into adulthood and married a Gypsy girl named Bella.
5. November 2--a wick candle fell onto some celluloid flowers, which started a huge fire in his home. Django and his wife survived the fire, but he was badly burned from his knees to his waist. His left hand was inflamed and twisted. Django refused to amputate it—his fourth and fifth fingers were paralyzed for life.
6. During his year in a half convalescence someone brought him a guitar, and he re-taught himself using only two fingers. Since then, he was back in the music business.
1. Django said that Jazz attracted him, “because it offered perfection of form and instrumental precision that I admire in great music, but which are lacking in popular music”.
2. In 1932—He met a young pianist and violinist, Stephane Grappelli, who would play an important part in Django’s life.
3. In 1934—Django and Stephane formed the Jazz String Quartet.
4. Django then brought his brother into the group as another guitarist to back him up. The group now became the Jazz String Quintet.
5. Record companies did not find the Jazz Sting Quintet commercial enough.
6. The record label, Ultraphone, came along and decided to give the group a chance. The result—a TREMENDOUS success!
1. The Jazz Quintet got to record with Benny Carter, Bill Coleman, and Coleman Hawkins.
2. Ellington’s trumpeter, Rex Stewart, stated: “You only find a musician like Django once in a century!”
3. Django’s second wife’s name was...