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Labro Featured in Chamber Music America Magazine ‘Art of…

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

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“Chat” -Labro collaborates w/ Grammy Award Winner pianist &…

The creative connection between Fernando OTERO and Julien LABRO has taken form in their collaboration under the name of “CHAT”.

The album contains compositions by both musicians, in which improvisation plays a major role,  exploring countermelodies with their respective instruments creating a solid soundscape.

 

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Review: Labro/Vieaux @ The Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival

By Mike Telin
June 3, 2014

The evolution of classical guitar music continued at 7:30 when guitarist Jason Vieaux was joined by his frequent collaborator Julien Labro on bandoneón, accordion and accordina. One always hopes the final concert of a festival will be something special that sends audiences home in anticipation of the next edition and Vieaux and Labro did not disappoint.

Given the two began their musical partnership with their 2011 celebrated recording on the Azica label titled The Music of Astor Piazzolla, it was fitting for them to begin their program with a work by the father of Tango Nuevo. Composed in 1986, Histore du Tango consists of four movements that describe the evolution of Tango. Vieaux and Labro performed the first, “Bordel 1900” and the fourth, “Concert d’Aujourd’hui”.

Originally scored for flute and guitar, the piece is often performed in various instrumental combinations (guitar and bandoneón for this performance) Now for my dirty little secret: I have always hated this piece. That was, until last Sunday night. In the hands of two accomplished musicians who are well-versed in both classical and jazz, Vieaux and Labro’s performance captured the essence of Tango Nuevo. As they would throughout the evening the dynamic duo performed from one musical mind – all unison technical passages, no matter how fast, were perfectly in sync. And they were obviously having a lot of fun during some extended improvisations. Keep reading the full review here

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The next accordion star: Julien Labro

by Howard Reich
May 13, 2014

The accordion doesn’t get much respect in the United States – not since “The Lawrence Welk Show” and uncounted polka bands placed the instrument well outside the realm of chic.

Nevertheless, the glorious squeezebox holds a noble tradition in jazz, with artists such as Art Van Damme, Leon Sash, Guy Klucevsek, Richard Galliano and Astor Piazzolla (playing bandoneon) proving the instrument can convey lightning virtuosity and profound musicality as eloquently as any other.

The latest and most promising addition to this regal list is Julien Labro, whom Chicagoans have heard dispensing his wizardry in various club and concert halls but never quite the way he does in a surprisingly seductive new album, “From This Point Forward” (Azica). Playing with Chicago’s Spektral Quartet, which will celebrate the release with him Wednesday night at City Winery, Labro emerges as a triple threat: brilliant technician, poetic melodist and cunning arranger. Read the full article here.

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