Django Reinhardt, considered the best of the ealry jazz guitarists, was born in Belgium on January 24th 1910. A true gypsy he travelled with his tribe throughout Europe and North Africa during his youth. When he was 18 his left leg and his hand (though only two fingers were actually rendered useless) were severly burned in a caravan fire. In the early thirties he heard a recording of Duke Ellington and decided to dedicate himself to swing music. In 1934, with legendary violin player Stephan Grapelli, the The Quintet Hot Club de France was formed. It was at this point Django began to be heard and loved around the world. Reading stories about Django Reinhardt you get the impression that he was quite eccentric and a compulsive gambler. Supposedly he never showed up to recording sessions and people would have to get him drunk and trick him into to going to the studio. Some of his most famous compositions were actually complete improv made up on the spot and later transcribed by others. He lived most of his life in Paris and he died on the 16th May 1953 of a brain hemmorage.