Stephane Grappelli

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Grappelli, Stéphane,

1908–97, French jazz violinist, b. Paris. Trained at the Paris Conservatory as a classical violinist, he became enamored of American jazz and devoted himself to the idiom, successfully melding African-American and European forms. From 1934–37 he and the guitarist Django ReinhardtReinhardt, Django
(Jean Baptiste Reinhardt), 1910–53, Belgian jazz guitarist of Romani (Gypsy) descent. Reinhardt began playing the guitar professionally at 12. He was severely burned in a fire in 1928, leaving two fingers of his left hand useless, but adapted his guitar
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 created innovative improvisational "hot jazz" as co-leaders of the extremely popular Quintet of the Hot Club in Paris. In London during World War II, Grappelli played with the pianist George Shearing. Later he toured the world, made his U.S. debut (1969) at the Newport Jazz Festival, and during the 1970s and 80s teamed with other jazz violinists and pianists in live concerts and recordings. He also played with such noted classical musicians as Yehudi MenuhinMenuhin, Yehudi
, 1916–99, British violinist and conductor, b. New York City. Menuhin, an extraordinary prodigy, began playing the violin at four. He made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at seven, then studied in Europe with Adolf Busch and Georges
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 and Yo-Yo MaMa, Yo-Yo
, 1955–, American cellist, b. Paris. The son of musicologist Hiao-Tsun Ma, who left China in the 1930s, he was a musical prodigy, giving a public recital in Paris at the age of six.
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See his memoirs (1992, tr. 2002); biographies by R. Horricks (1983) and G. Smith (1987).

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He worked with Django Reinhardt's former partner, violinist Stephane Grappelli, for 11 years and since then has attained the reputation as the world's leading solo jazz guitarist.