Django Reinhardt is rightly hailed as one of the greatest guitar players that ever lived, but many people praising is accomplishments as a guitarist tend to overlook his roots in Gypsy culture and the musically fertile, polygot Paris of the 1920”s. Reinhardt and his companions used all these elements, along with American jazz, to create this new music, but the Gypsy heritage seems to be the most important ingredient. Once you hear it you can’t forget it. It is sophisticated, yet it has a sentimental quality. It is Gypsy jazz, and the popularity of this sometimes flamboyant, sometimes melancholy guitar music is growing around the world. Aficionados everywhere are forming bands, called Hot Clubs in honor of Django Reinhardt’s famous Quintet of the Hot Club of France.
There are Hot Clubs in Norway, Tokyo, San Francisco, New York, and probably every country where the guitar is played. It is through the playing of the brilliant Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt that most people are introduced to jazz manouche, as the call the style in its birthplace, France.