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The Welcome,

with the

Jazz Guitar

Newsletter No.12

“On the 23rd of January 1910, a boy was born to a family of nomadic gypsies camped in a field outside the village of Liberchies in Belgium”, wrote Ken in 1956 about Django Reinhardt. To honour what would have been Django’s 102nd birthday, we have dedicated this week to Django - as a celebration of this hugely influential and inspirational musician. Released this week, a special clip about Django, featuring some of the participants of the film talking about this great gipsy guitarist. In particular, Martin Taylor shares with us a very personal insight into Django’s immense influence on him. He articulates something perhaps of what Ken may also have felt about Django. We invite you to watch the clip on Youtube. Ken, as you all know by now, was a huge admirer of Django. He made a radio portrait on him which was broadcast on the 31st January 1956, on the BBC Light Programme. It was one of the very first radio programmes that Ken created and presented on his own. Judging by the number of thank you letters he received at the time (still kept in his archives 56 years later!), it was extremely well received. A letter from his producer, Jack Dabbs: “The Django programme was such a success that I really must get you back on the air as quickly as possible”. Well, it’s taken another 56 years, but we are very excited to announce that playing this week on the Ken Sykora Radio Station, is none other than the original broadcast of Django, a portrait by Ken Sykora. Ken’s Archive One of the first thing Ken’s children talked to us about was ‘The Django File’. Spoken of with an air of reverence, we were most intrigued by this mysterious sounding file. So when the famous box was finally revealed to us, it was a surprise to find a small plain green filing box. Nothing special about it? Well it was what we found inside that captivated us: full newspapers, clippings and photos, all about Django, collected from the 30s to the 90s; Ken’s notes, contracts, payments from Decca and Vogue for the Hot Club records Ken wrote the sleeve notes for; memorabilia from the first Django festival (you can see these on the website) and lots more. We have found very few recordings of Ken talking about Django, so this file, almost like a fan’s scrapbook, makes it very personal and gives us an insight into what Django meant to Ken. There are also some guitar strings - Django’s, well that’s the legend…


We hope you’ve been enjoying Ken’s ‘On this Day’. If you missed this weeks, don’t worry things happen ‘on this day’ next week too…and look out for a special Django cartoon… And next week it will also be the birth date of someone very close to Django and a friend of Ken, but until then… A la prochaine, Linda and Marc

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© Five Feet Films Ltd 2012

Newsletter 12  
Newsletter 12  

Weekly newsletter for the documentary The Man with the Jazz Guitar, a film about jazz guitarist and radio broadcaster Ken Sykora