Tonight I took my daughter with me to the Highland Library for a concert about Gypsy Music featuring the work of Django Reinhart. I'm embarrassed to say I've not heard about this musician before. This concert was provided by the Friends of the St. Paul Library with support of Minnesota Arts.
The auditorium was totally full, and many were people who love Gypsy Jazz. I learned that are many clubs in the Minneapolis-St. Paul that have this music.
Here's a sample:
The music was provided by the Clearwater Hot Club with commentary by Michael Dregni. I thoughtI had not heard right when Dregni said that Reinhart was born in Belgium. I didn't know that Belgium also had Roma/Gypsy people too. However the family lived primarily outside of Paris. Reinhart was a professional at age 14. When he was 18 he was offered a position with a traveling band from the U.K, a huge jump in his career. Sadly, that night his caravan had a fire and he was disabled for 18 months. As the result of his fire injuries his left hand was deformed and he had the use of only 2 fingers.
If you click on the link above for Django, you will find he still found a way to play a guitar and became a great, great musician.
I just took a look at the flyer about the concert and learned the St. Paul Library has an exhibit about Gypsy Jazz. This will not be the last post about Gypsy Jazz! Watch this space.