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Inspiration from the Life of Django Reinhardt


Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) was a French jazz guitarist and composer born in Belgium. He was the first European jazz musician, and he wrote over 100 songs. Many people view him as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. According to Frank Vignola, another Jazz guitarist, Django’s compositions influenced jazz musicians worldwide. Some of his most famous songs include ‘Swing 42,’ ‘Daphne,’ and ‘Minor Swing.’


He Was a Chicken Thief at Some Point in His Life

Django showed interest in music at a very early age when he started playing the violin. When he reached 12 years, he was given a banjo-guitar. He quickly learned how to play it by watching people who were good at it. He was using his music skills to earn money by the time he was fifteen years. Funny enough, Django did not receive enough formal education as a child. However, he received a bit of it during his adulthood. Interestingly, he was a skilled chicken thief when he was a young adult. Such practices were common among the Romani’s as some of them lived by stealing from their non-Gypsy neighbors.


He Suffered From Great Physical Injury

After he had married his wife at age 17, he recorded his first song with a band where he was playing the ‘banjo.’ The recording led to international recognition. Consequently, he was offered a job by a British bandleader known as Jack Hylton. Unfortunately, before he could start the job, he was involved in an accident. The caravan he and his wife were living in caught fire after a candle fell on extremely flammable celluloid artificial flowers that his wife used to make. Django was able to drag himself and his wife to safety. Unfortunately, he lost both ring and littler fingers of the left hand. He also suffered from paralysis on his left leg.


He Once Lived From Hand-To-Mouth

Between 1925 and 1933, Django had divorced his wife and he started dating one of his distant cousins. The two of them toured France together performing in small clubs. They quickly used up the little money Django made, and saving became a foreign word to him. It was during this time that Django shifted his attention from banjo and took a keen interest in the guitar. At first, he used to play all kind of music, but after hearing American Jazz, he was inspired, and he made his vision and goal to become a jazz professional.


Inspiration from the Life of Django Reinhardt

You might have an upbringing that is not too favorable, but that should not hinder you from realizing your dreams. Although Django did not receive formal education and was a chicken thief on his youth, he was not deterred from playing music, which was his passion. Life challenges might push you to the corner making you feel like you have lost everything. That should not be a reason for you to feel discouraged from following your passion. Although Django lost two of his fingers, he did not lose his passion in playing and died a hero guitarist and a celebrated jazz professional.

As long as you have your vision, it is never too late to turn around your life. Django went through a period in his life when he strived to get his daily bread, but since he did not lose his vision in life, he managed to turn around his life.


Keep reading: “Inspiration from the Life of Mauro Giuliani”>>

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