gypsy jazz

Gypsy jazz (also known as gypsy swing, jazz manouche or hot club-style jazz) is a musical idiom inspired by the Romani jazz guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt (1910–1953), in conjunction with the French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli (1908–1997), as expressed in their group the Quintette du Hot Club de France. Because its origins are in France, Reinhardt was from the Manouche clan, and the style has remained popular amongst this clan. Gypsy jazz is often called by the French name “jazz manouche”, or alternatively, “manouche jazz” in English language sources.Reinhardt was foremost among a group of gypsy guitarists working in Paris from the 1930s to the 1950s. The group included the brothers Baro, Sarane, and Matelo Ferret and Reinhardt’s brother Joseph “Nin-Nin” Reinhardt. While his fellow guitarists also sometimes featured as soloists with their own groups⁠ or on other recordings (although never with Reinhardt’s Hot Club Quintette⁠), Reinhardt is universally recognised as the most outstanding improviser among them, and he had a personal style of jazz guitar playing now generally considered the archetype of “gypsy jazz” guitar.

The style was popular in France and, via recordings and appearances by the original Quintette, in other European countries before and immediately after the Second World War, but fell out of favour as the “swing era” came to an end, being replaced in its homeland by bebop, mainstream jazz, and eventually, rock and roll, however had a resurgence from the 1970s onwards among performers and audiences at festivals, etc., in particular the Festival Django Reinhardt which commenced in 1968 at Samois-sur-Seine, France (the location of Reinhardt’s last residence) and continues to the present time.

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