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March 09, 2024


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Richard Zitrin

My mother, an amateur musician (and fulltime physician) played Django for me as a pre-teen and teenager. I LOVED it but got laughed at by my friends, including those in our band that played at the school dances. Fortunately, they wised up!

Django’s story is well-known, of course. His ability to play with 2 paralyzed fingers is extraordinary, although it also may have helped create his unique sound.

I also love Grappelli and own about 6-8 albums. On his second trip to the States in about 1970, I went to a 4 a.m. Stephane Grappelli gig in an odd venue - a second floor jazz club on Second Avenue in NYC that must've lasted a year or less. What a genius! I later married my first wife, who had perfect pitch. She couldn’t listen to Stephane because he was always sliding from one note to another. For me it was beauty; for her it hurt her ears.

Thank you, Steve! I’ll listen to the rest tonight.

Richard Zitrin

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