Stéphane Grappelli

Stéphane Grappelli (26 January 1908 – 1 December 1997) was a French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934. It was one of the first all-string jazz bands. He has been called "the grandfather of jazz violinists" and continued playing concerts around the world well into his 80s. For the first three decades of his career, he was billed using a gallicised spelling of his last name, Grappelly, reverting to "Grappelli" in 1969. The latter, Italian, spelling is now used almost universally when referring to the violinist – even on reissues of his early work. Grappelli was born in Paris, France, to Italian/French parents: his Italian father, marquess Ernesto Grappelli, was born in Alatri, Lazio. His French mother, Anna Emilie Hanoque, from St-Omer, died when he was four, and his father left to fight in World War I. As a result, at six, he was accepted into Isadora Duncan's dance school, where he learnt to love French Impressionist music. Grappelli started his musical career busking on the streets of Paris and Montmartre with a violin.


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