Gypsy Jazz

Originated by French guitarist Django Reinhardt, Gypsy Jazz is an unlikely mix of 1930s American swing, French dance hall "musette" and the folk strains of Eastern Europe. Also known as Jazz Manouche, it has a languid, seductive feel characterized by quirky cadences and driving rhythms.

The main instruments are nylon stringed guitars, often amounting to a half-dozen ensemble, with occasional violins and bass violin. Solos pass from one player to another as the other guitars assume the rhythm. While primarily a nostalgic style set in European bars and small venues, Gypsy Jazz is appreciated world wide.

 

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