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    “PROBUĐENI DJANGO”

    Jazz guitarist Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt was born in Belgium on January 23, 1910, and died on May 16, 1953. He was of Roma origin and grew up in a Roma settlement near Paris, where he was most active. This Roma-Belgian guitarist and composer is responsible for popularizing gypsy jazz, as well as creating that musical style, together with several other Roma musicians. Reinhardt’s nickname “Django” means awakened in the Romani language. This world-famous musician started a new direction in music. His music has always caused a lot of attention and attention because it brought interpretations that contained jazz, bebop Roma roots. Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in the United States of America, and is considered the only autochthonous American genre. During the XX. century went through many changes. It was first played in bars and brothels in the suburbs of New Orleans and other cities. For a long time, it was dance music that was condemned for emphasizing eroticism. Since the 1940s, new listening styles have been emerging. Today, jazz is heard in concert halls, jazz clubs, but also studied at jazz academies. Jazz is no longer music for a mass audience, but music for a narrow circle of listeners, for a refined minority. Bebop or just bop is one of the variants of jazz music, which is characterized by fast rhythm and improvisation based on the harmonic structure of the composition, and not on the melodic line. The beginnings of bebop are connected with the beginning of the second world war, in the early 1940s. The most famous bebop jazz musicians were: saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Thelonious Monk. Django learned to play the guitar at a very early age, and spent most of his youth in Roma camps near Paris. In 1928, Reinhardt was injured in a fire that engulfed his caravan. He suffered burns on most of his body. His right leg remained paralyzed and he permanently lost the use of two fingers on his left hand. He spent the next two years without playing, music or the use of his left hand. But after that, Django turned his disadvantage into a gift and fascinated his fans even more with his unusual way of playing. Over time, Reinhardt learned how to play like before. It was a very slow, painful process for him, but he developed an innovative style of guitar playing. With two fingers and a thumb, Reinhardt handled his instrument very quickly and nimbly. He returned in full glory in 1930 playing nightclubs in his native Paris. By the mid-1930s, Reinhardt had joined forces with violinist Stéphane Grappeli to form the five-piece Quintette du Hot Club de France. Their group included Reinhardt’s brother Joseph and others such as Roger Chaput on guitar and Louis Vola on double bass. This fivesome became the first great European jazz band. Some of the band’s early recordings included covers of American songs such as “Dinah” and “Lady Be Good”. He spent the Second World War in occupied France. During the war years, he led a quintet with the clarinetist Hubert Rostaing, who replaced Grappelli. After the end of World War II, Reinhardt picked up an electric guitar and toured the United States as a soloist with Duke Ellington, but the tour was not very successful.

    Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, DC. The career of this very important jazz musician lasted more than half a century, during which he composed thousands of songs for theater and film, as well as contemporary songs. He created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in Western music and continued to play what he calls “American Music” until shortly before his death in 1974. Reinhardt had no formal musical education. He was mostly self-taught and never learned how to write or read music. He had to depend on others to be able to write compositions. In 1950 he retired to Samois-sur-Seine. He recorded and played occasionally until his death. He died on May 16, 1953 in Fontainebleau, France from a stroke.

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