How Did Django Reinhardt Influence Jazz

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During World War II, the people of Europe had very limited forms of entertainment to keep them positive did not have much to keep their spirt’s up. One source of happiness and entertainment for them was music. Jazz grew in popularity in Europe after it was introduced by American troops to Europeans. It remained popular between wars and was known “as a symbol of opposition to colonialism” during the second World War. One of the most famous and influential jazz guitarists of this era was Django Reinhardt. Django Reinhardt was one of the most prominent musicians of his time for his style of combining American jazz with Gypsy influences. His personality and unique artistry made him a music icon during such a dark time in world history. Jean “Django” Reinhardt was born on January 23, 1910 in in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium. His parents were Manouches, or French gypsies, and were fairly poor due to the fact that his father was a struggling musician while his mother was a dancer. Due to their financial struggles, Django Reinhardt never received a formal education and was considered to be illiterate. He also never was able to read or inscribe his own musical…show more content…
Jazz represented a “form of protest through its Gypsy influences,” and at the time, Gypsy’s were considered undesirable by Hitler and the Nazis which left Reinhardt in fear for his life. However, Reinhardt was able to still perform in nightclubs as he wished because the Nazis particularly enjoyed his compositions regardless of his ethnic background and left him free from persecution. This did not levitate his level of uncertainty around his fate though as he attempted to flee France twice, being caught in the act both times and returned to Paris. Thankfully, Reinhardt survived the war without having to endue the hardships of a concentration camp like most other Gypsies in France at this

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