Idiomatically conversant with jazz, classical music, world music, and complimented by an unmeasured expertise of the music of Astor Piazzolla, Julien Labro has established himself as one of the leading figures of his generation on both the accordion and the bandoneón.

Interview for 92Y @ SubCulture

Julien Labro talks about the accordion, bandoneón and his upcoming concert, part of the 92Y at SubCulture series

The NewYorker & the New York Times both picked it as part of their Fall preview so come and join us on Oct. 8th at 7:30 pm @ SubCulture.

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Review: Beethoven Festival Abounds With Art

Review: Beethoven Festival, Merit School of Music Sept 10, 14, 2013
by Elliot Mandel @Cello_guy

Three quarters of the way through their set of South American music with accordionist Julien Labro at the Merit School of Music Saturday evening, the members of the Spektral Quartet lean back and put down their instruments – violinist Aurelien Pederzoli takes a seat in the front row.  Labro begins a meandering improvisation before launching into a rollicking cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” on solo squeezebox.  In a small way, this is the magic of the 2013 Beethoven Festival.  The audience – some seated around the quintet, some leaning against the bar, at least one listener lounges in the tepee in the far corner – is entranced by the music and ensconced in floor-to-ceiling artwork.

Wait, why is an accordionist playing Stevie Wonder at something called the Beethoven Festival?  Who cares.  “Music is music,” said Alban Berg to George Gershwin (thanks Alex Ross).  No ensemble in Chicago embodies this idea more than the Spektral Quartet, which regularly programs Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven alongside the ensemble’s contemporaries such as Marcos Balter and Chris Fisher-Lochhead.

Read the full review here

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Labro’s seemingly nonchalant virtuosity…

Review: Exuberant jazz from the Hot Club of Detroit

by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune

There may be hope yet for the great city of Detroit.

If it can drive through bankruptcy proceedings the way one of its leading jazz ensembles powered through its first show Friday night at the Green Mill Jazz Club, there could be better times ahead….

But the Hot Club of Detroit pushes out at conventional definitions of gypsy jazz with edgy, original repertoire and an aggressive, hard-charging strategy for ensemble improvisation. Granted, the band’s rough-and-tumble character does not convey the elegance of Grappelli’s silken violin lines riding Reinhardt’s chugging guitar chords. Yet there are other pleasures to be derived from its decidedly brawnier style.

Read the full review here

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Stylistic Maneuvers

Can’t wait to continue my collaboration with Spektral Quartet, we have some dates coming up this Summer & Fall and recording a CD in late September. 

STYLISTIC MANEUVERS

Posted by  Wulliman on Jul 17, 2013

I’ve never been the kind of musician (or music fan) who feels the need to be exclusive in my tastes.  While it may surprise some of you who are more familiar with me writing about Haas or Carter, I’m just as likely to listen to Ke$ha or Chick Corea’s “My Spanish Heart” without the slightest tinge of irony.

If I spend too long playing strictly concert hall music, I get a bit itchy.  I’m certainly listening to other stuff, like my recent obsession from an amazing super-group.

That’s why the the beginnings of our collaboration with Julien Labro for an album on Azica Records have brought me musical energy just when I thought I was burnt out from a long concert season.

Rest of the post here

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New HCOD Live Video

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New Arrangement of Oblivion for Curtis on Tour

Watch the beautiful performance here

Nadir Khashimov, violin
Jason Vieaux, guitar
John-Henry Crawford, cello
Performed on Sunday, January 27, 2013
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia

 

Throughout his career, Argentine composer and bandoneón virtuoso Ástor Piazzolla redefined the traditional tango with his new style of composition known as nuevo tango, which incorporate elements of classical and jazz. Among his prolific output, Oblivion remains one of his most popular works. Composed in 1982 for chamber ensemble, the piece has seen numerous arrangements and transcriptions over the years.  In this arrangement for guitar, violin, and cello by Julien Labro, an already hauntingly beautiful piece is made even more intimate.

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Review: The Hot Club of Detroit @ the Van Dyck, 2/1/13

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Some music just needs to be seen in a small space. For instance, even though Troy Savings Bank Music Hall was acoustically perfect for Hot Club of San Francisco, both the band and the music seemed “too small for the room” during their appearance last year. In comparison, Hot Club of Detroit’s show at the Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge last Friday night (February 1) was not just perfectly wonderful – it was also perfectly scaled. Maybe the Van Dyck’s concert space is a loft instead of a basement, and it may also be a non-smoking environment, but a band and its sound has never seemed more at home.

Here is the full review

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JazzTimes Interviews Julien Labro: Accordion & the Hot Club Tradition

Gigi Brooks interviews accordionist and composer about his instrument of choice, the Hot Club of Detroit and the music of Django Reinhardt

Accordionist and composer Julien Labro and member of the band Hot Club of Detroit, spent some time talking with me about his life and music career and his rare choice of instrument—the accordion.

Labro shares the band’s desire to pay tribute to the late, great European jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt in their latest release on Mack Avenue Records, Junction. The album also features the avant-garde sound of Ornette Coleman, blended with the acoustic grooves of Pat Metheny. The sound is bold and modern as he explains in our interview.

Follow the link for the full interview: Jazz Columns: Julien Labro: Accordion & the Hot Club Tradition – By Gigi Brooks — Jazz Articles.

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Who would have expected the accordion to sound so hip?

Here is a review from our concert in Winnipeg with Hot Club of Detroit, Chris Smith from the Winnipeg Free Press had some really nice comments.

The Hot Club of Detroit is a tight, tight band that swings like crazy through its brand of Gypsy jazz paying tribute to the great guitarist Django Reinhardt. The five-piece band — rhythm and lead guitars, bass, accordion and tenor sax — was augmented by the great Brooklyn-based French singer Cyrille Aimée in its shows as part of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances series.

From the get-go, lead guitarist Evan Perri and rhythm guitarist Paul Brady were locked into a groove that drove the band through two great sets Saturday afternoon, the first of two concerts that day. That familiar driving force that marked Reinhardt’s style was both a vehicle unto itself and the basis for an afternoon and great ensemble and solo work along with bassist Shawn Conley, accordion player Julien Labro and saxophonist Jon Irabagon.

…Labro plays the chromatic accordion with the style and verve of a rock musician…Read the full review here

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Recent Review from the Boston Musical Intelligencer

Concert Review: Praise for Fresh Ways with Vieaux and Labro

by 

Rounds of praise are due a brand new duo that made its Boston debut last night at The Roxbury Latin School. Guitarist Jason Vieaux and accordionist Julien Labro each revealed remarkable levels of individual artistry, and the chemistry between them openly and fully communicated. These along with other elements conspired to bring about that ideal situation where we find ourselves completely engaged, where we find ourselves not just being shown the way, but discover ourselves being a very part of learning along the way. Vieaux and Labro are Artists-in-Residence at Roxbury Latin.

Both Vieaux and Labro refreshed the often staid concert stage with uncommon graciousness, the kind of which comes from an unassuming nature both rare and welcome. Their amply appreciating their listeners as much as their making music together sets the duo’s mien apart from today’s common classical practices of performance. They love what they do and the audience finds itself very much a part of that joy. Labro’s way of putting it last night: “we are thankful to be playing before a small and intimate crowd who knows how to listen.”

Read the entire review here

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