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.
Written by Jane Simons. When Julien Labro performs, he wants to change your mind about what the accordion can do. And Labro will attempt just that with an April 27 performance at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. Although he has performed numerous times in Michigan, this is his first appearance at the Gilmore, which he has thought was “very cool” for at least 10 years now. “Now, it’s reality. I’m going to enjoy every minute for sure,” Labro said. During the first half of his show, he will be accompanied by a pianist in more of a chamber style featuring classical music. “For the second part, I’ll be bringing my jazz quartet in and we will feature more of my own compositions and the jazzier side of things,” he said. Continue to full article
Written by Susan L. Pena. In the endless menagerie of jazz formats, an unamplified concert is perhaps the rarest bird of all. But thanks to Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest's new partnership with the WCR Center for the Arts, that what the audience heard Thursday night when the Hot Club of Reading, with guest accordionist Julien Labro, appeared in that venue sans amps and speakers.....Labro, originally from France, is a member of the Hot Club of Detroit whose virtuosity on the button accordion is matched by a dazzling creativity and a big heart, as he demonstrated in solo after solo. Full Review Here
Written by Don Botch. When the Hot Club of Reading plays a Berks Jazz Fest concert Thursday night at the WCR Center for the Arts, it will welcome as a special guest a French accordion virtuoso who 20 years ago crossed the Atlantic to get to the root of jazz, only to discover the music of his homeland. That's not the way it was supposed to go down when Julien Labro enrolled....Full Interview Here
By J.C. Lee When Julien Labro was a young boy in Rodez, France, he never thought his accordion would take him around the world. But in the last year, the 34-year-old’s music has taken him throughout the Middle East, to Kuwait and Qatar, from China to Brazil and more. And this weekend, Labro will travel to northern Indiana to play his accordion as part of the Hot Club of Detroit at the Elkhart Jazz Festival. The journey all started with a television show. The accordion is a common instrument in traditional...read the rest here
By John von Rhein New albums find Chicago classical musicians, ensembles and composers blazing new artistic paths, moving into unusual areas of the repertory, refusing to be pigeonholed. Here is a sampling of some of the more significant recent releases that reflect this trend: "From This Point Forward." Julien Labro and Spektral Quartet (Azica): What hath Astor Piazzolla's nuevo tango revolution wrought? You can hear music by some of the Argentinian tango master's successors in this album of tangy instrumental arrangements, crafted and engagingly performed by the virtuosic Julien Labro (playing bandoneon and accordions) and the Spektral Quartet. Hang on tight as you plunge into the title track, Fernando Otero's "De Ahora en Mas," a frisky ride on a hurtling Latin roller coaster. No more enjoyable crossover release has come my way so far this year. Read the rest of list!
By Patricia Gendrey Première mondiale d’une pièce d’un compositeur français à Katara Julien Labro est accordéoniste, compositeur et arrangeur. Son concerto pour accordéon et orchestre – Apricity – sera joué pour la première fois à Katara, samedi 11 avril. Il nous parle de son travail et du concert de cette fin de semaine. Qatar Actu : Quel est votre parcours ? Julien Labro : Je suis né en France, dans l’Aveyron, à Rodez. J’ai vécu aux États-Unis pendant une dizaine d’années. Je vis aujourd’hui à Toronto. J’ai commencé l’accordéon à l’âge de 9 ans en regardant une émission à la télévision qui m’a émerveillé. J’ai suivi un cursus emménagé en musique et des études classiques au conservatoire de Marseille. Cette formation m’a ouvert de nouveaux horizons. J’ai alors découvert le jazz et des artistes comme Charlie Parker ou Miles Davis. C’est devenu une passion. J’utilisais tout mon argent de poche pour acheter le maximum de disques, ce qui a contribué à m’ouvrir l’oreille. J’ai trouvé dans le jazz une liberté que je ne retrouvais pas dans le monde classique. J’ai alors réuni bon nombre d’informations sur l’improvisation, l’histoire du jazz. J’ai découvert d’autres artistes comme Herbie Hancock ou John Coltrane. J’étais fasciné, à tel point que j’ai pris la décision de poursuivre, après le baccalauréat, mes études en Amérique du Nord pour être plus près des sources du jazz. FULL INTERVIEW HERE
By Paul Brady After some serendipitous beginning, a forward-thinking string quartet and a composer/accordionist with deep jazz cred are collaborating on new repertoire for their hybrid ensemble. Lake Michigan's South Shore is dotted with steel mills and meat-packing plants, rail yard and highways – their paths all leading to Chicago. That quick-and-easy thoroughfare along the country's rust belt made it convenient for composer/accordionist Julien Labro to travel to Chicago from Detroit for years of gigs before settling in Toronto. Often invited to perform with internationally known Chicago musicians, such as the Brazilian guitarist Paulinho Garcia, or the Polish jazz vocalist Grazyna Auguscik, Labro logged the hours in Chicago; and the city's limelit jazz scene helped establish the French-born reed-bellower as this country's A-list start of the often misunderstood instrument. FULL ARTICLE from the Chamber Music America magazine
Little warm up before session with pianist extraordinaire Fernando Otero
By No mandolin appeared in "Dialogues of Love," but accordionist Julien Labro and saxophonist Amanda Heim, plus baritone soloist Lee Poulis, were key players in a work of vast undertaking, inspired by the topic of love in its many permutations, elucidated in texts in four languages spanning two millennium. Dorman's imagination, which absorbs, synthesizes, and kicks out something new, is up for the challenge. He achieves authenticity by drawing upon ethnic and folk music, bits of jazz syncopation, a hint of rock rhythms, and a generous serving from the classical canon of music. Full article & review hereGrand Rapids Symphony music director David Lockington led an epic night of epic music making with choral and instrumental music of the highest caliber. The Grammy Award-nominated orchestra performed a work by a composer of a Grammy Award-nominated recording. Mandolinist Avi Avital and the Metropolis Ensemble getting the nomination for Best Soloist with Orchestra for their recording for Dorman's Mandolin Concerto.