Gypsy Jazz In All Its Splendor, with Vic Wong

Vic Wong
podcast_mic.jpgThere is a wealth of mystery and mythology surrounding the legacy of Django Reinhardt. He was a brilliant swing guitarist with a mangled hand, who turned his injury into the impetus for achieving a unique style of voicing and playing. This week’s guests, led by Pandora engineer Vic Wong (pictured at left), dissect the sounds that Reinhardt and his confederates created in 1930s Paris. These sounds were a response to the American “hot jazz” records that Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and others were hearing, falling in love with, and using as launch pads for their own creations. Reinhardt’s journey made for a fascinating musical movement, and it’s most commonly referred to these days as Gypsy Jazz.
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Thanks for listening,


The Pandora Team

47 thoughts on “Gypsy Jazz In All Its Splendor, with Vic Wong

  1. Cool. I heard a rumor that the RIAA has slammed you guys with ridiculous fees and Pandora may shut down. Is there any truth to this?

  2. Hi, Gershon,
    There isn’t any new news on the subject — this is the same conflict we’ve been in for the past 18 months. We’re continuing to work toward a fair operating climate for internet radio, and it’s proving to be a lengthy and challenging battle. For more information on the background of this, here is how it all got underway:
    Thanks for listening, and supporting us. We will let you know when there’s any news on the subject. The Washington Post article (and subsequent coverage on Gizmodo and elsewhere) was summarizing the general situation at it currently stands; there isn’t really anything new to report, and no updates as of yet. We will definitely keep you posted, though. Please stay tuned, and thanks again.

  3. I heard that Pandora’s in a tough spot, but I just wanted to say that it’s a wonderful site. I know that a lot of people would be willing to pay for this service, so good luck and hopefully you can keep it alive.

  4. Hey, I thought I would see a lot about this today, but I’m not, but anyway, nice job with the new look, and am I seeing at least one new feature? “Add Variety to this Station” looks very interesting, and I imagine I’ll be making great use of it! Thanks, guys.

  5. at last you got it right on my judy garland you arent adding morden artists , I really enjoy the station keep it up

  6. Just chiming it to say that I would gladly pay for Pandora. I’m not pushing it, but if it comes to that don’t go down! You are truly unique and wonderful.

  7. I have to say that Idislike the loss of infomation in the new layout. I can no longer see whether I have given the song I’m listening to a thumbs-up or not. I don’t want to have to click every song I don’t remember.
    Also, they’ve always had the Add Variety option, they just changed the name from “add more music to this station.”
    One feature request: I’d like the ability to see what characteristics Pandora thinks I like, based on my thumbed songs. Mostly because I don’t know what they are and would like to know for music selection elsewhere.

  8. Hi Kevin,
    Just wanted to add that Pandora was the best thing I’ve stumbled upon. You’ve got great music that I’ve been wanting to listen to in a long time and new music that I’ve explored to be dynamic. Thanks for a great site and a very nice upscale lifestyle it converses with. Have great memories with it already.

  9. Hello –
    This blog post probably isn’t the right place to give feedback, but I can’t find the right place so apologies for the out of context post. I just wanted to say that I’m disappointed by some of the design decisions made by Pandora in the last few days. For instance:
    – The buttons for voting up and down are now small and hard to hit, as opposed to before when it was simple just to mouse over to the window and vote (see Fitt’s Law). With the buttons tiny and on the bottom I can no longer hide Pandora at the bottom of my screen and vote casually – I now need to give the window my focus, move it if the tiny buttons are uncovered, and then mouse to one. Then, once I vote…
    – …annoying popups now appear. Yes, I know what voting means, I’ve done it many times, please stop telling me and making me click. God, no, I’ve voted this song down, please don’t apologize. You’re an interface, just move on to the next song and stop patronizing the user.
    Thank you – I don’t mean to complain to be annoying. I love Pandora & just want it to be better. :)
    – B

  10. Christina, Scott, Paul, Barry, Gryphons Bard — Thanks! Happy to hear it, and happy that you’re listening.
    Becca and Vorpal — duly noted, thanks for the notes. I will pass these along to the design team. As for marking thumbs up and thumbs down, these still do show up on the tiles themselves; but the checkmarks no longer appear. That is, your previous ratings still do show up for each song, but they may not be as easy to see. The checkmarks are coming back very soon… stay tuned, and they will return.

  11. Hey!! Love the site but I am having major problems hearing it. It is all choppy and its not the computer. Is there a system problem today??

  12. Hey I just wanted to add my voice to the others saying that I LOVE your site and don’t want it to go away!!!! I would gladly subscribe to keep it going…if it comes to that as an option. Pandora is too awesome to lose…please keep us all posted on what we can do to get behind the site and keep it going!

  13. Just a thought, if Pandora is in such a tough spot, how about getting together with facebook, myspace, ect. and getting support from them. Music is a big deal on those sites. I know once people catch wind of this site they will fall in love with it like I did.

  14. I truly love this site. Second to none. I can’t get enough. One suggestion: when creating a station by song title it should play that song first. I prefer to create by artist anyway. Thanks so much.

  15. I really like what I’ve seen of Pandora so far, but I have a question: Is there any way to give an artist a “thumbs down” instead of a song?

  16. Hi, Cat,
    I sent your request to our tech support. In general, if you ever have issues like that, just tap, and they’re quick to respond.
    Hi, Charlene,
    Here’s “Maybe” by the Chantels:
    Kim and Leslie,
    Thanks! We’re definitely exploring all options, and it helps to hear that. Your support means the world to us.
    We can’t play the requested song first, as we aren’t an on-demand service. We are a free radio service, and as such, we can’t fulfill specific on-demand requests like that. But that song will pop up on your station; just give it some time.
    You can ban an artist from your station if you would like. Here’s how:
    Thanks, guys!

  17. I am new to pandora but have to say that so far this is one of the best internet stations so far. I was using xm but i think that i will stay wright here. great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Hi – just wanted to add my two cents… I just found Pandora and am totally hooked and just wanted to comment on what a great idea you all have.. Love it!

  19. Krystina, Danny, Wendy, Dennis — thank YOU. We love hearing that you’re happy with Pandora, and are delighted that you’re discovering both new music you enjoy and older songs you might have forgotten.
    Bridget — Thanks! The “Gypsy Jazz” podcast was a blast to record and produce. Those guys are fantastic musicians, and a ton of fun to work with. They play under the name Panique, but don’t have any records out yet. Vic has a CD out with his other gypsy jazz band, which is called Anouman. If you scroll to the bottom of the show page…
    … the final American song link is to a track from that Anouman album. Here is Anouman’s profile page:

  20. errr… look.. your push to sell by means of locking out bookmarked songs enrages me… what are you trying to do, force people to buy if they like the song and want to hear it again?
    also the inability to search multiple artists for the same song title after one artist is selected enrages me… whats that? Incompetence or idiocy?
    also your limitation on deleting unwanted songs is counter productive… I dont care what your excuse is.
    Regarding your legal issues… if your format was less greedy you’d actually sell a lot more imo..and sales solves all legal problems as there is then enough money to pay any royalties.
    I think you can do a lot better… you would sell more songs if you didnt limit favorits to a short preview… thats not impressive at all either.
    I will cancel my account, and give you another try in a year or so to see if you have grown up any, or become less greedy and short sighted.
    Phil scott

  21. I just stumbled on this site the other day and think its great. wanted to tell you of a album thought that you dont seem to have that I think you would like to include it’s new age ” alkamy” ” the merlin mystery ” anyways thanks for a great site I am going to pass it along to everyone I know now thatI found it

  22. This is the gratest idea ever ever ever,uh, except perhaps the idea of sharing which seemingly is one and the same. Thanks Pandora for the way you keep the music I like grouped together it is indeed a listning pleasure. I confess that it has replaced satellite radio in my home…

  23. Hello,
    I am another who thinks that Pandora is the best thing since sliced bread!
    I am sure that you get many suggestions for Genre stations but I have a suggestion for one I think you overlooked…. Showtunes i.e. Music shows Yes I know I can set up a station and train it… but many of the performers also sing other songs than just music from shows… I’d love to see a “Showtunes” button!

  24. This is the best idea since radio has been on the air! I hope God bless you all with big success.We get to pick the kind of music we the listener want to hear,sweet.Again, God Bless!”

  25. @Phil Scott: As a free radio service, we can’t offer on-demand listening. That’s what it sounds like you’re looking for. Thanks for trying it out, though. One I didn’t understand, though:
    >the inability to search multiple artists for the same song title after one artist is selected enrages me
    Could you explain that? I don’t follow.

    @Sue: I will encourage our music curator to check out Alkamy’s The Merlin Mystery. If you ever look for music on Pandora and can’t find it, send a note to and we will seek it out.

    @Ken: Thanks for the suggestion on Showtunes. I will pass it along to the people that set up the Genre Stations.

    @Linda: Here is more information on how to add music to a station —
    In terms of combining two multi-seed stations, though, that involves asking support. I’m going to write to and copy you on it.

    @Terrance: Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

  26. wow what a great idea…..a radio station that I customize to my likings. I hope this idea stays free from the politics of the “almighty dollar” and stays true to its original idea. Sounds like someone had a good idea then made it happen. Hey folks, sit back relax and just enjoy your own personal station. Enough of the bitchin ok? Love this and am just dealing with the few minor problems it has while this idea progresses. And to all of you greedy hogs out there who don’t have enough money to buy yourself a lear jet yet, keep your hands off so that we people can enjoy someones very intelligent decision. Ok Im going to turn on my personal radio now..goodbye. Amy Sherrod


  28. Amy — Thanks, eh! Glad you’re digging it.
    Johnnie — I’m happy to report that I have answers for both of those.
    As for playing Pandora in your car, you can do it with any of these portable devices, either via mini-plug or with one of those inexpensive in-car transmitters:
    And if an artist or song is not available, just drop a line to, and we’ll add it to our list of music to buy and add. I just sent a note to suggest-music with your two suggestions, and copied you on it.

  29. I was wondering if you could build an equalizer into the Pandora player.. I’m at work with a couple small desktop speakers. I’d like to shape the sound to make them sound better. Or, can I stream it thru another media player?

  30. I am absolutely impressed with this site. And, what’s weird is that I just stumbled across it.
    I’m a music lover but I’m so picky that I never dreamed that I’d find a site like this one.

  31. I LOVE Pandora….Wish I had my stereo system at home connected to my computer, etc. But at work I listen when ever I can. Can’t afford to pay though so hoping it doesn’t go that way….I do have some input though. I don’t really like live recorded music much and it appears on my stations more than I like. I was wondering if it is possible to create a button whereby a person could disallow live music on a given station? Sometimes I like the song and am afraid that if I give it a thumbs down because it is live I won’t get the studio version of it.
    Keep up the good work!

  32. Hi, Valeria!
    If you thumbs-down all the live versions that pop up, but make the studio versions of those same songs seeds on your station, it will learn that you like those songs but not live versions.
    Good luck, and let us know how it goes,

  33. You didn’t publish my :: Product Development Idea:: ?? Does the 2nd amendment not apply for a blog idea you see equity behind; it’s wise to consider ethics… friends keep underdogs afloat . .
    Manage you holes, they exist.
    contact me. i can help more than programmers.

  34. Hi Ryan –
    We did indeed publish your comment; we also responded to it.
    See here:
    I’ll re-post my response here for you:
    Thanks Ryan!
    Our keyboard shortcuts are as follows:
    Play/Pause: spacebar
    Skip Song: right-arrow key
    “Thumbs Up” – I like this song: plus key
    “Thumbs Down” – I don’t like this song: minus key
    Increase Volume: up-arrow key
    Decrease Volume: down-arrow key
    Maximum Volume: shift key and up-arrow key combination
    Mute Volume: shift key and down-arrow key combination
    [Note: Be sure to have the Pandora Tuner active in order to use these shortcuts (just click the mouse pointer once on the Pandora Tuner).]
    – Lucia, with Pandora

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