Legal name: Jean Reinhardt
Jean "Django" Reinhardt (French: [dʒãŋɡo ʁɛjnaʁt] or [dʒɑ̃ɡo ʁenɑʁt]; 23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) was a Belgian-born French jazz guitarist and composer of Romani ethnicity, regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, having written nearly 100 songs, according to Frank Vignola. He was the first and most significant jazz talent to emerge from Europe.
Despite having two of his fingers disabled from a fire, he overcame the handicap and went on to forge an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called 'hot' jazz guitar), which has since become a living musical tradition within French Gypsy culture. Benny Goodman asked him to travel with his band, which he never did, but he did tour the U.S. with Duke Ellington's band in 1946. He died suddenly of a stroke at age 43.
With violinist Stéphane Grappelli, Reinhardt formed the Paris-based Quintette du Hot Club de France (Hot Club) in 1934, today considered one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz.
Reinhardt's most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including "Minor Swing", "Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42", and "Nuages". According to jazz guitarist Frank Vignola, nearly every major popular-music guitarist in the world has been influenced by Django, including Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and Les Paul. Over the last few decades, annual Django festivals have been held throughout Europe and the U.S., and a biography has been written about his life. In February 2017, the Berlin International Film Festival held the world premiere of the French film, Django.