The World-Wide Web has been our Virtual Village in the Gypsy Jazz community. We've made many friends here and we've learned much from them.

The following links are far from a comprehensive list of Gypsy jazz internet resources. However, by linking to them, and linking from there to other links, you will find a great abundance of information. Rather than re-inventing the wheel and listing all the Gypsy jazz sites, we thought we'd give you some tools to start your own virtual version of what the Gypsies call "Latcho Drom", or the Good Journey. Here are some ideas to consider during your travels...

Getting Started

Playing gypsy jazz guitar may require you to relearn your right-hand technique and rethink how to play chords and solos. ALL this information can be found somewhere in these links. If you really wish to play Gypsy jazz, it's worth the adventure and search. Keep in mind, however, as Steve Royall from the Django Reinhardt Swing Page cleverly notes," The first thirty years are the hardest."

  • Join the Gypsy Jazz Guitar Group, the new Djangobooks Forum and the forum on Django Reinhardt Swing Page. They’re great ways to get involved with the Django scene.
  • Don't be daunted by the French and non-English sites. By using Google Language tool (or a similar translator), you can translate entire pages into understandable, if somewhat strange, English.
  • Consider purchasing at least one Gypsy jazz songbook and play-along CD from Robin Nolan. Volume 1 is a good place to start. It will teach you proper chord shapes as well as provide you with play-along backup tracks to numerous traditional Gypsy jazz songs. These books are great for jam sessions.
  • Don't forget E-bay. It can be a great serendipitous source for Gypsy jazz guitars, material, CDs, and records.
  • The Django Reinhardt Swing Page "Searchers Page" offers a nice listing of worldwide guitar players looking for other local players.
  • If you're looking for a place to get started, why not check out Djangology? It is a great up-to-date adventure of a guitarist's personal journey to learn the Gypsy jazz style, and offers may great tips and added links.

Equipment

The types of strings, picks, and guitars affect the sound of this music. You can find information about these builders by going to the links under Gypsy Jazz Equipment.

Wegen

Michel Wegen (above), great Dutch pick-master with Mango fan Django's Virtual Tourist CD

  • Some great current makers of Gypsy jazz guitars (there are many, many more...): Dell'Arte, Shelley D. Park, Maurice Dupont, J. Castelluccia, John Le Voi, David Hodson, Rob Ayward, Jean-Pierre Favino, Phillipe Moneret / Atelier Gerome, Michael Dunn, Anastasio, Joseph Di Mauro, Alain Mazaud Klaus Roder, Killy Nonis and Leo Eimers.
  • Some great past makers of Gypsy jazz guitars: Selmer / Maccaferri, Jacques Favino, Antoine Di Mauro, A. Carbonel Gerome and Busato.
  • Some makers of lower-priced Gypsy jazz guitars: Saga, Patonette, Woodland, Tamara.
  • Jacques Mazzoleni's Gypsy Guitars is a great place to find a Gypsy jazz guitar and accessories.
  • Many players -- including Mango fan Django -- prefer Wegen picks for Gyspy jazz. Dugains are another popular brand.

Books and CD's

A book deserving special mention is Michael Dregni's excellent 2004 work entitled Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend. This is the first time a major work on Django Reinhardt has been written in forty years, and in my opinion this is the best book ever written about Django.

  • Gypsy jazz CDs can be obtained from Buffalo Bros. Guitars, FNAC (French music chain), the Django Reinhardt Swing Page, Gypsy Jazz Distribution (i.e., Dell'Arte Guitars) and the various artists themselves. Individual sites of particular note include: the Rosenberg Trio, and Robin Nolan.
  • Gypsy jazz tutorial, books and CDs are available from various sources and the list keeps growing every day! Some include Robin Nolan Trio/, Django books, Colin Cosimini (his books are available at djangobooks.com), John Jorgenson, Stephane Wrembel, and the Django Reinhardt Swing Page where you can find the English language version of Angelo DeBarre's Secrets of Gypsy Guitar as well as other great tutorial books.

Festivals

There are many Gypsy jazz events around the world. The mother of all Gyspy jazz events is held the last weekend of June at Samois sur Seine, south of Paris, France. Other important events include mid-Julys L'espirt Manouche in Moseley Private Park, UK, and early Octobers Djangofest N.W. in Whidbey Island, Washington, USA. Check the Django Reinhardt Swing Pages Events section for other shows.

Resources

Learn to play like Django!

Gypsy Jazz Equipment

Gypsy jazz books and CD's

Gpysy Festivals