trading cards 16-Django Reinhardt    He was born in Belgium in 1910 but his family soon moved to a halting site on the outskirts of Paris.

When he was 12, an old gypsy on the site took notice of his interest in music and he gave him a banjo as a gift. He quickly mastered the banjo and well-known contemporary instrumentalists (Guerino, Jean Vaissade) asked him to play with them.

He was a French gypsy or a "manouche" and he never had a real roof over his head till the age of 20. His first (and only) home was a caravan.

On one summerÕs night in 1928, his wife had decorated the caravan with some celluloid flowers. Heavy smoker Django didnÕt put a cigarette out properly, the flowers caught fire and soon the caravan was engulfed in flames.

Django and his wife survived but he suffered appalling burns. The doctors wanted to amputate one of his legs but he refused. His left arm and hand were permanently contorted as a result. This injury made him come up with a new way of playing the guitar.

His style of playing was a revolution in the world of jazz. He married gypsy music to swing and invented Manouche jazz or Gypsy jazz as it is also known. This new style opened up innovative possibilities for jazz and country music.

Django never learned how to read or write. Any drink, cigarette or woman that was put before him on the other hand... He died of a cerebral stroke in 1953.