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Monday, 1 December, 1997, 16:01 GMT
Jazz great Grappelli dies

The French jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli, has died in a Paris clinic at the age of eighty-nine.

Largely self-taught, he began his musical career accompanying silent movies in Paris cinemas but achieved fame in the 1930s when he teamed up with the guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Their partnership ended with the Second World War.

Stephane Grappelli then pursued a mainly solo career until his other famous partnership in the 1970s -- with the classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Grappelli continued to play well into old age bringing a freshness and lightness to the world of jazz.

It was these qualities he also brought to his own compositions including songs such as Billet Doux.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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