I live in Minneapolis Minnesota. Here is how I came to this music...
By the year 1997 my musical endeavors had largely been collaborative creative projects that leaned toward pop or alternative music. I was interested in studying other genres and expanding my level of musical awareness. Jazz seemed a daunting curiosity whose secrets held many rewards.
I heard this style of music for the first time on KBEM FM Jazz 88.5 while driving in Minneapolis. The music was strikingly beautiful. I was moved to the extent that I called the station for the artist's name: Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. I had never heard guitar played with such virtuosity. I rushed out and purchased my first Django CD.
I have a personal reward system I use. When I purchase music I open it only after completion of a specific project, be it home or music related. The Django CD was a monster. There it sat , calling me with its knowledge of how my life and musical path would soon change.
The day came when I played Django's music for the first time. The rhythm was hypnotic and each solo was full of expression and originality. I came to learn Django, a nomadic European gypsy was severely burned in a caravan fire which subsequently crippled his left hand. It was incomprehensible that a guitar player could suffer such a debilitating injury and with only two fully functioning fingers play so beautifully. Nothing made sense to me anymore. I was hooked.
I had an immediate need to begin playing this music but, I could barely play a major scale and figured an arpeggio was a dish my mother might prepare. I began to listen and study Django and more importantly, let his genius inspire me. I have learned to appreciate what his longtime musical partner Stéphane Grappelli said of him: "(Django) did more for the guitar than any other man in jazz."
My interest in Django has also caused me to study theory, embrace my voice on the instrument and generally dedicate myself to the guitar. This recording captures the rawness and purity of expression that this music inspires.
Music is one of the biggest maps for the soul. May it take you places you have always loved and introduce you to ones yet undiscovered.