[Dixielandjazz] Django Reinhardt's birthday celebrated on DaveRamsey's Rifftides blog- Did Django have to perform "underground?"

Norman Vickers nvickers1 at cox.net
Fri Jan 25 07:13:46 PST 2013

Dear Rick Georgi:  I wasn't in Paris in 1940  either, but from what I read
in Dregni's book and others, that Django didn't have to go underground to
play.  And, the fact that he was able to go into the recording studio to
produce this famous piece Nuages which, I also read,  became the "adopted"
French national anthem since La Marseillaise was forbidden to be sung or

Norman Vickers
Jazz Society of Pensacola

-----Original Message-----
From: GIORGI, RIC [mailto:ricgiorgi at sympatico.ca] 
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 8:43 AM
To: 'Norman Vickers'
Cc: 'Dixieland Jazz Mailing List'
Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Django Reinhardt's birthday celebrated on
DaveRamsey's Rifftides blog

How free to perform were Parisian musicians?

In the early '70s I was working my way through university (UWO) playing bass
around London Ontario. One night on a bar gig I noticed an older gentleman
listening intently and went to talk to him during a break. He was a doctor
in the German army in Paris in those years and saw Django often but it was
in a "underground" club and he said all the German officers there could have
been shot if they'd been found in the place. "Jazz" was officially outlawed
but there were enough officers in high positions to protect those playing it
covertly. Publicly, it would have been their death warrant.

-So, here was the famous gypsy musician performing freely in Paris while his
fellow gypsies
-were being taken to the concentration camps, just like the Jews. During the
video clip
-featuring the lovely music, various photos are  shown-many of Django,of
course, and one
-photo of Michael Dregni's excellent biography of Django. I highly recommend
it-well written -and well researched.

Ric Giorgi
Resa's Pieces Strings

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