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Django Reinhardt Centennial Celebration - Sweet and Lowdown
January 23, 2010 marks the centennial of the birth of Django Reinhardt. Reinhardt grew up in gypsy camps outside Paris and began playing violin, banjo, and guitar at a young age. A fire destroyed his caravan when he was 18 and he was badly burned. The third and forth fingers of his left hand were partially paralyzed but he amazingly relearned how to play and by the early 1930s he was recording with his Hot Club of France Quintet. All of those solos were played with only two fingers! He came to America as a soloist with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra and recorded and played with many jazz greats such as Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, and Louis Armstrong. Django Reinhardt died on May 16, 1953 but his music and playing continues to inspire to this day.