Django Reinhardt has been a favorite of mine for years. I started out playing rock then blues and it’s almost inevitable that this would lead to jazz. I realized a long time ago that blues is just a collection of riffs. This may loosely be compared to speech which is a collection of words. Some player like B.B. King or Albert King are so easy to spot because their collection of riffs were rather limited. Jazz is the same. It’s just a bunch of riffs and cliches. The difference it’s a complex language with lots of riffs and chords. Then played at a break neck speed. If you have the patience and the memory you can master it. I do not have the memory. It’s a challenge for me. It takes a lot of work. There was a song that stated “Jazz is much too crazy. I’ll play it when I’m old.”
I was introduced to Manouche Gypsy Jazz many years ago. I bought a few Django LP’s. A friend of mine knowing that I was going to Paris told me that I must catch Ninine Garcia, a gypsy jazz guitarist in the style of Django Reinhardt. So for eight Octobers in a row I headed over to Le Marché aux Puces de Paris-Saint-Ouen ( flea market) in Paris (metro Porte De Clignancourt) in to see Ninine play.
Ninine plays in a small bar/restaurant named “la Chope des Puces” at 122 Rue Des Rosiers.
The restaurant holds no more than 20 seats and the bar much less. Ninine sits beside the door and jams all afternoon on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays with other members of his family and other aspiring Manouch musicians. Mondine Garcia, Ninine’s father sadly passed away on December 29, 2010. It is hard to imagine being at La Chope without seeing him in his checked shirt playing beside Ninine. They all are amazing players, great guys. one time we saw Django’s grandson David sit in. I video taped many hours over those years. I hope to edit this footage and release some more.
Ninine’s Facebook page click here
Marcel Campion is the owner of “la Chope des Puces”