Django Reinhardt would have been 113 today. Fact is, he died at 43. With his left hand badly burned at age 18, his chording ability was limited, but he taught us a lot about lead guitar playing and the ability to re-invent oneself when life gives one lemons.
His band with Stéphane Grappelli, le Quintette du Hot Club de France, was one of the best bands that ever played. The personnel at times included bassist Louis Vola (in whose band Reinhardt and Grappelli met in the 1930s), and rhythm guitarists Roger Chaput and Joseph Reinhardt (Django’s brother), along with Reinhardt on lead guitar and Grappelli on violin.
During WW II, with Grappelli in England, the band added clarinetist Hubert Rostaing, along with drums. The French film “Django” (available on the Kanopy streaming service, which you may be able to use through your public library), released in 2019, deals with Reinhardt’s time in Occupied France, the round-up of the Romani people in France, and Django’s attempt to escape across the border to Switzerland. An estimate 0.5 to 1.5 million Romani were slaughtered by the Nazis. While the film is fictionalized, the genocide was real. Reviews of the film were mixed, and the music is by the Rosenberg Trio, not actual historical recordings.