This painting is my interpretation of Django’s near fatal accident. The gray and yellow background represent the smoke and fire that engulfed Django’s caravan. The guitar with the French flag because Django made France his home.
I absolutely love the way Django plays this song which was composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. This song was originally written for the musical Very Warm for May (1939).
Title: Django’s All the Things You Are Year: 2020
Size: 48x24” Medium: Acrylic paint Surface: 3 mm wood panel Price:$1200
Django Reinhardt was born in Liberchies, Pont-a-Celles, Belgium on January 23, 1910. He was of Manouche Romani descent. His official name was Jean. Django is his Romani name. He was the major first jazz player to emerge from Europe and to this days he remains as one of the best jazz guitar players in the world.
Django spent most of his youth in Romani encampments close to Paris where from early age began playing guitar, violin and banjo. From the time he was 12 years old, he was learning how to play guitar by watching Jean “Poulette” Castro and Auguste “Gusti” Malha play. At the age of 15, he was playing in cafés in Paris,
When he turned 17, he married Florine “Bella” Mayer (also Romani).
Django’s first recording took place in 1928, when he was 18 years old. He was playing banjo-guitar with the accordionists Maurice Alexander, Jean Vaissade and Victor Marceau, and the singer Maurice Chaumel. Then, on the night of November 2, 1928, he accidentally knocked over a candle that ignited the entire caravan. He suffered extensive burns over the left half of his body and spent 18 months in rehab.
His pinky and annular fingers of the left hand were so badly burnt that he could not use them again. He taught himself how to play guitar again using the burnt fingers just for chord work and making the left index and left middle fingers do all the work.
Around 1920, he met Emile Savitry, an American jazz player whose record collection included Louis Armstrong, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and Duke Ellington. Here is where Django decided that jazz was going to be his music. During that year, he met Stéphane Grappelli, a young violinist who had played with Joe Venuti. A partnership was born.
Between 1923 and 1939, Reinhardt (with his Selmer guitar) and Grappelli worked together as soloists of their quintet Quintette du Hot Club de France. When the WWII broke, Django returned to France and Grappelli remained in the UK where they were playing at the time.
After the war, he played in the United States in 1946 along with Grappelli. They debuted at the Cleveland Music Hal with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.
He had a hard time adjusting to post war France. He retired in 1951 to Samois-sur-Seine and he died in 1956.
Does the end ever justifies the means?
The answer is always NO. If anyone has to derail from the moral and ethical compass to execute a mean with the excuse of justification for the end result, then that individual has lost the sense of what it is to be a wholesome human being.
I am sure you have seen the scenarios on the movies, and probably at work for those who work in law enforcement or the DOD, where they give you the example of the ticking thing, or where a kidnapper is hiding a victim, etc. There is no scenario that will ever justify means that are contrary to the Western civilization moral and ethical values.
Former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan, a man I admire for always upholding ethical values when confronted with the scenarios described above, has written many books worth reading where he shows the way to uphold the principle that the end never justifies the means.
Let's take the movie John Q starring Denzel Washington. The film tells the story of John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington), a father and husband whose son is diagnosed with an enlarged heart and who finds out he is unable to receive a transplant because HMO insurance will not cover it, before he decides to hold up the hospital and force them to do it.
He holds up the hospital personnel at gun point. That is a crime. He is justifying the mean of committing a crime to achieve the end result. In this moment, he becomes at the same low level as the hospital personnel. I strongly believe that when life throws a fallen tree on our path, we must find a legal solution to the problem, and sometimes accept that whatever it is happening in that moment and there is no legal solution to it, it is nature who becomes in charge and we must accept the end.
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This is an exhibition of contemporary abstract paintings by Cecilia Anastos
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