As you may have noticed in another thread, the Paris Museum of Music and National Library of France are co-hosting a Django "Swing de Paris" exhibition from Oct 6, 2012 to Jan 23, 2013 at the Cité de la musique (see more info from the museum below)
I'm now in the process of planning a trip to Paris to see this exhibition sometime in January 2013, and am currently negotiating with a lady who has an apartment in the 18th arrondissement... her price is 60 Euros per night single or 50 Euros double... we'll see what dates she has available in the next day or two. I just checked a two-star Paris hotel where I stayed at a few years ago ("Hotel de Mines" in the Boul St-Mich area) and single rooms there seem to be in the 100+ Euros per night...
As well as attending the Paris Swing show, I'm also hoping to spend some time at cool Paris clubs listening to some of those awesome French guitarists, and perhaps even work up enough nerve to get my own guitar out of the case...
Any djangobooks.com member who might be interested in joining me for such a junket, please make yourself known.
And any djangobooks.com member who lives in or near Paris and might be open to sharing a bottle of wine and a few guitar licks with North American visitors, please make yourself known, vous aussi.
Django Reinhardt, Paris swing
From October 6th 2012 to January 23th 2013
Born in the back of a caravan into a family of performers, Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) might have grown up in the slums of the “Zone”, but he belongs to the aristocracy of swing. This “child of the breeze”, as Jean Cocteau liked to describe him, won over not just jazz-loving intellectuals, but also those attending public dances and the very fancy clients of select cabarets, with the magic of his guitar. And his popularity didn’t fade; on the contrary, it seems only to have grown as the craze for gypsy jazz found an echo in contemporary French songwriting and film. Independent and whimsical, revelling in the freedom so dear to his gypsy brothers, Django Reinhardt fascinated his contemporaries in the way his brilliant virtuosity triumphed over his handicap, as if he hadn’t lost two fingers at age 18, when his caravan burned down. While he co-headed the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Stephane Grappelli, Django launched a new kind of jazz - gypsy jazz - and shared the stage with some of the highest creators of the genre: Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington and Benny Carter. His fame reached all the way to the United States, who saw in this gypsy, who spoke not a word of English and lived in a caravan, a symbol of French eccentricity!
From the dances of the rue de Lappe to the Boeuf sur le toit, the nightclubs of Pigalle to the Salle Pleyel, the great movie theatres of the Champs-Elysées to the Cirque Médrano and the Saint-Ouen flea market, Django’s career is a geography of Parisian in itself. In addition to a collection of unpublished documents and the re-creation of the legendary Selmer guitar workshop, the exhibition gives a place to people who have captured the heart and soul of Paris: photographers like Eugène Atget, Brassaï, Émile Savitry, Willy Ronis and Robert Doisneau, as well as writers, painters and sculptors. All of these works reflect the cultural melting-pot of Django’s music, nourished by cosmopolitan influences and universal in scope.
Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."
Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."