The name 'Gypsy Jazz'

Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
in History Posts: 208

Hello! What are everyone's thoughts on the term 'Gypsy Jazz'? Could the use of the word 'gypsy' be deemed inappropriate and/or offensive? Is there a better name or description of this music that we should all be using?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm trying to come up with a name for my duo, so we can actually advertise ourselves when we have a gig. We hope to find a bass player and another musician (sax/accordion/violin/trumpet/piano...), but at the moment it's just two guitars (and sometimes I play my EKO fretless acoustic bass). I'm not sure how I feel about including the word gypsy in any title or advert for our music. Is this a sensitive subject?

The only name I'm currently quite fond of is 'Django's Trousers'. My wife suggested 'Steaming Pile of Jazz'. Has she heard us play?!!

Any input is very welcome.

Best wishes, Jamie



  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited November 2022 Posts: 1,459

    This was discussed at length previously in

    The term "Gypsy" -

    Later, the dead horse was beaten some more in

    Roma Swing -

    The general consensus seems to be that the term "Gypsy Jazz" is fine, it is not a sensitive subject. You can probably find people who would deem it inappropriate or offensive, but you can find people that are offended by just about anything these days. In this case they're likely to be misinformed, no need to make obsequious concessions.

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 208

    Thank you Wim Glenn, much appreciated. Hot club swing sounds great too of course, and maybe I'll advertise our monthly jam sessions in the pub as that.

    Anyone got any band name ideas? I thought of Fandjango or Fanjango but when I googled it, it's already taken (of course!).

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,337

    How about pleasing both camps and calling yourselves "We are NOT Gypsy Jazz"?

    Or maybe double down with "Are we not men, we are Gypsy Jazz"

    Might make it hard to fit on the marquee...

  • DoubleWhiskyDoubleWhisky Upper FranconiaNew Dupont MD60, 1940s Castelluccia
    Posts: 140

    Let's make "Gadjo Jazz" a thing!

  • Posts: 4,812

    You have a funny wife.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 4,812

    On the actual question, you see the term here in several videos, coming straight from the source:

    doesn't seem to be problematic for the people the genre term refers to.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    edited November 2022 Posts: 959

    Go for it. The term has been in use as a legitimate description for long enough that anyone interested will know what music style you are referring to.

    I totally second what Wim says above, we can NOT keep making allowances for those over-sensitive snowflakes who go out of their way to find something offensive in every accepted adjective or noun. Pretty soon we will have no vocabulary left if these self-appointed PC censors are allowed to tell us what is acceptable. Strangely, the ones who constantly lecture us about 'diversity' etc are the same ones who are only to quick to apply new labels to differentiate themselves from the rest of us and then plead for their rights for 'inclusion' and complain about not having equal rights.

    So which is it to be, are they saying they want to be treated the same as everyone, or do they want to be identified as something else? Beats me !

    Anyway, back to the Oxford English dictionary and the entry for the word Gypsy says "see Gipsy" which is defined as "member of a wandering race of Hindu origin". It has been said the original Hindus left India to migrate west and as they came to the Mediterranean countries via Egypt they were thought to be Egyptians and the word Gypsy came from there.

    As with any other word for a specific race, of course it can be said with malicious or racist intent, but that should not be reason enough to then ban the offending word just because it has been misused.

    And am I qualified to judge?

    Attached is a copy of my birth certificate.

  • Posts: 4,812
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • KlausUSKlausUS AustriaNew Cholet Intuition, Gaffiero Original, AJL Q&P
    edited November 2022 Posts: 64

    No problem at all to use "Gypsy Jazz". It is a clear branding which contributes to the success of Gypsy Jazz or Hot Jazz.

    Very interesting what Fapy Lafertin has to say about the term "Gypsy Jazz" @ 5:20 min 🤣

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 208

    Thanks for the links. I'm aware that the term 'gypsy jazz' has come along relatively recently - 1990s - and it might be nice to acknowledge the history of this music a bit more with 'Hot Club' or 'Django' included in a band name. The reason I'm thinking about this a bit more now is I have to advertise our group and jam sessions and would like to have it sorted soon.

    Thanks for discussions, Jamie

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