Django at 100

Djan­go Rein­hardt, one of Europe’s finest jazz gui­tar play­ers, would have turned 100 on Jan­u­ary 24. It’s fair­ly aston­ish­ing to think that he mas­tered the gui­tar as he did, ele­vat­ing it to a lead jazz instru­ment, despite being self taught, and hav­ing lost the use of two fin­gers in a fire. (More on that in the LA Times.) Above, we fea­ture Djan­go and his group, Quin­tette du Hot Club de France, per­form­ing “J’At­tendrai” (I Will Wait) in 1939. As you’ll note, he only has two fin­gers mov­ing on the frets.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.