Thursday 13 November 2014

Django Reinhardt - 'J'attendrai'

Jean "Django" Reinhardt (1910-1953) was born in Belgium, into a family of Manouche Romani descent. When he was 18, Reinhardt was injured in a fire. He received first- and second-degree burns over half his body. The fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again, but he relearned his craft, even though his fourth and fifth fingers remained partially paralysed. He played all his guitar solos with only two fingers, and used the two injured digits only for chord work.
   Reinhardt's music has been used in the soundtrack of many films, including in The Matrix; Julie & Julia, Daltry Calhoun, Catch-22, Metroland, Chocolat, The Aviator, Alex & the Gypsy, Deconstructing Harry, Something's Gotta Give, Kate and Leopold, Gattaca, L.A. Story, Rushmore, Stardust Memories, Sweet and Lowdown, King of the Gypsies and Hugo.
   Here we have the only known film of Django Reinhardt playing guitar.