Grappelli in 1976, by Allan Warren
|Birth name||Stéphane Grappelli|
26 January 1908|
|Died||1 December 1997
|Genres||Swing, continental jazz, Gypsy jazz|
|Instruments||Violin, piano, saxophone, accordion|
|Associated acts||Django Reinhardt, Quintette du Hot Club de France, Oscar Peterson, David Grisman|
Stéphane Grappelli (French pronunciation: [ste.fan.gʁa.pɛ'li]; 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. Stefan Grappelli is a significant alternative rendering of his name on later recordings.
Early years 
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. He began playing the violin at age 12 and attended the Conservatoire de Paris studying music theory (1924–28). He made a living busking on the side until he gained fame in Paris as a violin virtuoso. He also worked as a silent film pianist while at the conservatory and played the saxophone and accordion. Grappelli called his piano "My Other Love" and (many years later) released an album of solo piano of the same name. In 1937, the American jazz singer Adelaide Hall opened a nightclub in Montmartre along with her husband Bert Hicks and called it 'La Grosse Pomme.' She entertained there nightly and hired the Quintette du Hot Club de France as one of the house bands at the club.  For the first three decades of his musical career, Grappelli was billed as Stéphane Grappelly. Grappelli's own explanation for the changed spelling was that he was tired of people mispronouncing his last name as "Grappell-eye". His early fame came playing with the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Django Reinhardt, which disbanded in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. In 1940, a little-known jazz pianist by the name of George Shearing made his debut as a sideman in Grappelli's band. Shearing went on to enjoy a long career.
After the war he appeared on hundreds of recordings including sessions with Duke Ellington, jazz pianists Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani and Claude Bolling, jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, jazz violinist Stuff Smith, Indian classical violinist L. Subramaniam, vibraphonist Gary Burton, pop singer Paul Simon, mandolin player David Grisman, classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin, orchestral conductor André Previn, guitar player Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar player Joe Pass, cello player Yo Yo Ma, harmonica and jazz guitar player Toots Thielemans, jazz guitarist Henri Crolla, bassist Jon Burr and fiddler Mark O'Connor. He also collaborated extensively with the British guitarist and graphic designer Diz Disley, recording 13 record albums with him and his trio (which included Denny Wright in its early years), and with now renowned British guitarist Martin Taylor. His Parisian trio of many years included guitarist Marc Fosset and bassist Patrice Carratini.
During the 1960s he played for cocktail hour at the Paris Hilton.
Grappelli recorded a solo for the title track of Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here. This was made almost inaudible in the mix, and so the violinist was not credited, according to Roger Waters, as it would be "a bit of an insult". A remastered version, with Grappelli's contribution fully audible, can be found on the 2011 Experience & Immersion versions of Wish You Were Here.
Grappelli made a cameo appearance in the 1978 film King of the Gypsies, along with noted mandolinist David Grisman. Three years later they performed together in concert, which was recorded live and released to critical acclaim.
In the 1980s he gave several concerts with the young British cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.
He died in Paris after undergoing a hernia operation. He is buried in the city's famous Père Lachaise Cemetery.
This list does not include all compilation releases.
- Djangology: Django Reinhardt, the Gypsy Genius (1936 to 1940)
- Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt the Gold Edition (1934 to 1937, copyright 1998)
- Bill Coleman with Django and Stephane Grappelli 1936 to 1938 (released 1985, DRG Records)
- Unique Piano Session Paris 1955 (1955, Jazz Anthology)
- Improvisations (Paris, 1956)
- Paris Encounter (Atlantic, 1969) with Gary Burton
- Afternoon in Paris (1971, MPS)
- Manoir de Mes Reves (1972, Musidisc)
- Homage To Django (1972, released 1976 Classic Jazz)
- Black Lion at Montreux with the Black Lion Allstars (Black Lion Records BL-213, Recorded July 4, 1973)
- Just one of those things! (1973 Black Lion Records) Recorded at the 1973 Montreaux Jazz festival
- Stephane Grappelli - I Got Rhythm! (1974 Black Lion Records) with Diz Disley, Denny Wright and Len Skeat recorded at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 5 November 1973
- Shades of Django (1975, MPS)
- Satin Doll (1975, Vanguard)
- Parisian Thoroughfare (with Roland Hanna, Mel Lewis & George Mraz, Arista/Freedom Records 1975)
- The Rock Peter and the Wolf (1976 RSO Records) (2007 CD Verdant Records) with Jack Lancaster, Phil Collins, Brian Eno, Keith Tippett, Julie Tippetts, Gary Brooker, Gary Moore, Alvin Lee, Manfred Mann etc.
- Stephane Grappelli and Cordes (1977, Musidisc)
- Live at Carnegie Hall (1978, Signature)
- Uptown Dance (1978, Columbia)
- Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti: Venupelli Blues (1979, Affinity)
- Oscar Peterson Skol (1979, released 1990 Pablo)
- Young Django (1979, MPS)
- Sonny Lester Collection (1980, LRC)
- Stephane Grappelli `80 (1980 Happy Bird)
- Stephane Grappelli/David Grisman Live at Berklee (recorded September 20, 1979, Boston, Massachusetts)
- Stephane Grappelli (Pye)
- Diz Disley Live at Carnegie Hall (1983, Dr Jazz)
- Vintage 1981 (1981, Concord)
- Just One Of Those Things (1984, EMI Studios)
- Grappelli Plays George Gershwin (1984, Musidisc)
- Martin Taylor: We've Got The World on a String (1984, EMI)
- Stuff Smith: Violins No End (1984, Pablo)
- Fascinating Rhythm (1986, Jazz Life)
- Live in San Francisco (1986, Blackhawk)
- Classic Sessions: Stephane Grappelli, with Phil Woods and Louie Bellson (1987, RTV Communications Group)
- Stephane Grappelli Plays Jerome Kern (1987, GRP)
- The Intimate Grappelli (1988, Jazz Life)
- Steph'n'Us, with Don Burrows & George Golla (1988, Cherry Pie. Possibly Australia only)
- How Can You Miss, with Louie Bellson and Phil Woods (1989, Rushmore)
- Jean-Luc Ponty - Violin Summit (1989, Jazz Life)
- Jazz 'Round Midnight (1989, Verve)
- Stephane Grappelli in Tokyo (1991, A & M records)
- Bach to the Beatles (1991, Academy Sound)
- Stephane Grappelli 1992 Live (1992, Verve)
- Michel Legrand (1992, Verve)
- Martin Taylor Reunion (1993, Linn Records)
- Jazz Masters (20+-year compilation, 1994, Verve)
- 85 and Still Swinging (1993, Angel)
- Stephane Grappelli Live at the Blue Note (1996, Telarc Jazz)
- Crazy Rhythm (1996/2000, Pulse)
- Parisian Thoroughfare (1997, Laserlight)
- Violin Summit: Stephane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, Svend Asmussen, Jean-Luc Ponty (1967, Polygram)
- Stephane Grappelli and Earl Hines: Stephane Grappelli meets Earl Hines
- Stephane Grappelli and Hubert Clavecin: Dansez Sur Vos Souvenirs (Musidisc)
- Stephane Grappelli and Barney Kessel: Remember Django (1969, Black Lion)
- Stephane Grappelli and Barney Kessel: Limehouse Blues (1972, Black Lion)
- Stephane Grappelli and Gary Burton: Paris Encounter (1972, Atlantic)
- Stephane Grapellli and Paul Simon: Paul Simon (9) 1972 Hobo's Blues (Columbia 1972)
- Menuhin and Grappelli Play Berlin, Kern, Porter and Rodgers & Hart (1973 to 1985, EMI)
- Stéphane Grappelli and Baden Powell: La Grande Reunion (1974, Accord)
- Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin: Jalousie (1975, EMI)
- Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin: Fascinating Rhythm (Music of the 30's) (1975, EMI)
- Stephane Grappelli and Oscar Peterson (1973, Musicdisc)
- Stephane Grappelli and The George Shearing Trio: The Reunion (1977, MPS)
- Stephane Grappelli and Martial Solal (1980, MPO)
- Stephane Grappelli and David Grisman Live (1981, Warner Brothers)
- Stephane Grappelli with Marc Fosset Stephanova (Concord Jazz, 1983)
- Stephane Grappelli and Toots Thielemans: Bringing it Together (1984, Cymekob)
- Stephane Grappelli and Helen Merrill (1986, Music Makers)
- Stephane Grappelli and Vassar Clements: Together at Last (1987, Flying Fish)
- Stephane Grappelli and Jean-Luc Ponty: Compact Jazz (1988, MPS)
- Stephane Grappelli and Martial Solal: Olympia 1988 (1988, Atlantic)
- Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti: Best of Jazz Violins (1989, LRC)
- Stephane Grappelli and Yo Yo Ma: Anything Goes (1989)
- Stephane Grappelli and McCoy Tyner; One on One (1990, Milestone)
- Stephane Grappelli and Dr. L. Subramaniam: Conversations (1984, Milestone)
- Stephane Grappelli and Claude Bolling: First Class (1992, Milan)
- Stephane Grappelli and Michel Petrucciani: Flamingo (Dreyfus 1996)
- Stephane Grappelli, Carl Hession, Frankie Gavin, Marc Fosset: Frankie Gavin 2003–2004 Collection/The Grappelli Era (2003)
- Stéphane Grappelli : Verve Jazz Masters 11
- Reuters obituary
- Balmer, Paul (Director) (2002). Stéphane Grappelli: A Life in the Jazz Century (DVD). New York: Music on Earth Ltd.
- Stéphane Grappelli's obituary.
- The Piper (2002). A Rambling Conversation with Roger Waters concerning all this and that. Retrieved July 9, 2005.
- Amazon UK Listing of Wish You Were Here Experience Edition
- Amazon UK Listing of Wish You Were Here Immersion Edition
Further reading 
- Smith, Geoffrey (1987). Stéphane Grappelli: A Biography. London: M. Joseph. ISBN 978-1-85145-012-1.
- Grappelli, Stéphane; Jean-Marc Bramy (2002). With Only My Violin: The Memoirs of Stéphane Grappelli. New York: Welcome Rain Publishers. ISBN 978-1-56649-151-8.
- Balmer, Paul (2003). Stéphane Grappelli: With and Without Django. London: Sanctuary Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86074-453-2.
- Information on biography DVD
- "Twelve Essential Stéphane Grappelli Recordings" by Scott Albin at jazz.com.
- "The Improviser " - 3-part series on Jazz Violinist Stéphane Grappelli on AdventuresInMusic.biz, 2004
- Stéphane Grappelli TV appearance
-  "My Other Love" - the piano