Charles Delaunay

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Charles Delaunay on 52nd Street, New York, circa October 1946.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb .

Charles Delaunay (born January 18, 1911 in Paris , † February 16, 1988 in Chantilly ) was a French jazz author, jazz expert and long director and founder of the Hot Club de France .


He was the son of the two painters Robert and Sonia Delaunay and has been familiar with the Parisian artistic circles from an early age (including Pablo Picasso , Guillaume Apollinaire , Georges Braque , Jean Cocteau , Igor Stravinsky ).

He was early on in French jazz circles active, centered around the established and by his friend Pierre Nourry 1932 long Delaunay and Hugues Panassié led Hot Club de France . Delaunay and Panassié initiated the famous Quintette du Hot Club de France there in 1934 with Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt (as well as initially Louis Vola on bass, Django's brother Joseph and Roger Chaput on rhythm guitars, temporarily replaced by Pierre "Baro" Ferret ). He also organized concerts, e.g. B. with Benny Carter and in 1937 founded the label Swing with Jean Berard .

During the war he continued to run the Hot Club and released over 100 records for the swing kids known as “Zazou” in France, but was also in the Resistance from 1942 (and at times also in the army). After the war, there was a dispute between the French jazz pope Hugues Panassié , who spent the war relatively comfortably in southwest France, and Delaunay over the bebop movement, which Delaunay had met in New York in the late 1940s and promoted in France, while Panassié rejected modern jazz . The bebop then became the music of the existentialists in Paris in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the clubs of Saint-Germain-des-Prés , as described by Boris Vian . The Festival International 1949 de Jazz, co-organized by Delaunay, also contributed to this .

Delaunay was for a long time the head of the jazz magazine Le Jazz Hot (one of the oldest jazz magazines) founded in 1935 , co-founder of Jazz Magazine , the jazz label Swing (founded in 1937) and head of the record company Disques Vogue, which he founded in 1948 (whose jazz production ended 1960, from 1992 to BMG ). He is best known as the author of a famous swing discography , the "Hot Discography", which saw five editions. This is also the first ever published jazz discography. He died of Parkinson's disease .

He was also a visual artist and portrayed jazz musicians, for example.


  • Django Reinhardt souvenirs , Paris 1954, Editions Jazz-Hot, English London 1961
  • Django Reinhardt , da Capo 1982
  • Hot Discography , first in 1936, last as New Hot Discography in 1982
  • Hot Iconography (lithographs of jazz musicians)
  • with Robert Goffin Jazz 47
  • Django mon frere , Paris 1968
  • De la Vie et du Jazz
  • Delaunay's Dilemma (autobiography, also the title of a composition dedicated to him by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet ) 1983


  • Ludovic Tournes: New Orleans sur Seine. Histoire du jazz en France. Fayard, Paris 1999
  • Anne Legrand: Charles Delaunay et le Jazz en France dans les années 30 et 40 , Editions du Layeur 2010

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carles, Clergeat, Comolli Dictionnaire du Jazz 1994