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Gypsy Strings Play Django Reinhardt at the Rivera Court, Detroit Institute of Arts deedsphotos

Updated on April 6, 2011

The Gypsy Strings of Detroit at DIA's RIVERA COURT

On a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts last year we got a double treat--a Camille Claudel/Auguste Rodin exhibit and a jazz concert by The Gypsy Strings in the Diego Rivera Court. I was also surprised to find that my sailing friend John MacElwee was playing bass in the quartet whose music is in the style of Django Reinhardt, jazz legend of the 1930s. Listen to a sample of the Gypsy Strings of Detroit's music by clicking on their homepage linked below. A link which provides a sample of the Hot Club of Detroit has been added below also.

The Diego Rivera mural of the Ford Rouge plant was commissioned in 1932 by Edsel Ford, President of Ford Motor Company and of the Detroit Arts Commission. To his credit Edsel Ford did not interfere in the mural's communist-inspired content which depicted the workers with benign faces and the managers, including Henry Ford, in a less flattering style. Fortunately, the mural survived its critics, in contrast to a similar Rivera mural commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller in Rockefeller Center in New York City, which was destroyed and replaced with an inferior but less ideological mural by Jose Maria Sert.

John MacElwee on base


Superintendent at Ford Rouge Plant

Django Reinhardt 1910-1953

Gypsy Strings of Detroit

Hot Club of Detroit "Swing One"


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks yet again for your generous sharing, Ralph. We are so aligned philosophically and esthetically--especially wrt justice. Rivera, Orozco and Siquieros were giants. I was lucky enough to have had a solo exhibition for the US State Dept. at Hospicio Cabañas de Guadalajara where Orozco's Man of Fire mural is.

      And if you're a closet voyeur, like me, I highly recommend "The Letters of E.B. White" (Harper & Row) which I deem a four star-by-the-can-book . . . along with "The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms" by Eric Hoffer.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      12 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan


    • redflower345 profile image


      12 years ago

      Hi Mr. Deeds,

      Nice Photos! MDN


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