I really like Gypsy jazz, which I only seem to hear in Paris, but for me, this music sums up the ambiance of Paris and is often used over films of Paris.
So I was thrilled to see there was an exhibition of Django Rienhardt at the Cite De la Musique while I was in Paris.
The exhibition, detailed his life from being born in a caravan in Belgium into a clan of Manouche ( French speaking Romany tribe) his father an itinerant musician and his mother a dancer/acrobat. He was brought up in the most deprived conditions. His mother parked her caravan at Porte d’Italie and lived there. He busked on the streets of Paris with his brother Then when he was 18 he lost the use of two fingers in a fire.
The talent of his remarkable guitarist was recognised by contemporary jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and he became one of the most influential musicians on the jazz scene in the 1940’s with his original innovations, the name of his tribe Manouche being given to the type music.
I know this is not Django, but I found this amazing performance of his piece “Minor swing” and had to share it.
hope you enjoy, these three guys are amazing.
We also spent an evening with Janet, who regularly posts here, at L’Atelier du Charonne. a well known Manouch jazz club on Rue Charonne in the 12th arrondissement.
The food was good, better than my last experience there, but the music was disappointing the two guitarists seemed rather mediocre. However the evening was saved by the introduction of a guy from the audience who was obviously well known, who immediately silenced the audience with his talented guitar playing and infectious joy and enthusasm in making music. His performance, which probably lasted no more than 15 mins was one of the highlights of my trip. The audience listened in rapt wonder and even better he sang too!
We discovered later, by some very good research on Janet’s part that he was Boulou Ferre. He comes from a renowned gypsy jazz family, his father and uncle both played with Django Rienhardt and he and his brother are well known Manouche musicians.
Just one of these unexpected Paris moments, that you will remember forever.
Love from Paris