Django Reinhardt Resources

Django Reinhardt with guitar, smoking cigaretteThis is a revision of a page I (Warren) published years ago. It’s almost laughable now, how thin the list originally was. In the intervening time, a Gypsy Jazz Explosion has occurred world-wide, and there are many Django Reinhardt resources available for free or pay, with Django festivals and workshops going on all over the world. Here are links to a “curated” set of resources for learning and enjoying – feel free to send more for inclusion in future posts via our Contact page.

YouTube

Nothing beats personal instruction – after all, only a live teacher who really knows what she/he is doing can observe your playing and make observations (the effect can be multiplied if you take lessons from someone you regularly jam with, as they have many opportunities to observe you).  However, there are many parts of the world where GJ instruction is hard to find.

There are so many free lessons and other Django Reinhardt resources on YouTube that it may be hard to know which ones to watch first. Many of the free lessons are “teasers” for paid products, but they often have much value. I would especially recommend checking out free videos by Christiaan Von Hemert, Joscho Stephan, Paulus Schaefer, Robin Nolan, Denis Chang, and Yaakov Hoter, and also visiting the web sites of your favorites to check out their for-sale lessons. The competition is kind of fierce, so the quality is often quite high!

Facebook Groups

I highly recommend Gypsy Swing NYC (although NYC-centric, there are many guitar players from throughout the world there).

Festivals/Workshops

The mother of all Django festivals is the renowned Festival Django Reinhardt, held less than an hour south of Paris in late June of every year. The “real” action is in the campgrounds, primarily at Samoreau, where many true gypsy players jam all night, every night.

Django In June is held on the Smith College campus in Northhampton, MA every June, and is typically attended by several hundred guitarists from all around the world. If you are in the eastern US, you must stop here!

Djangofest Northwest, another institution that has been around for quite awhile, is another key stop on the Django world tour.

Other Resources

Try a Google search for “Ben Givan transcriptions” – he has transcribed quite a few Django solos!