Little warm up before session with pianist extraordinaire Fernando Otero
By Bruce Hodges
Inexplicably making their New York debut—only because this cracking, Chicago-based ensemble has been in existence since 2010—the Spektral Quartet packed SubCulture for a concert celebrating its newest recording, From This Point Forward (on Azica Records). Adding to the evening’s many delights was accordionist Julien Labro (who also arrangedthe works on the album). But like many virtuosos, Labro also plays related instruments: the bandoneón and the accordina—the latter similar to a melodica, but with buttons replacing the keyboard. Continue to read the full review here
By Sarah Ritzmann
Last Monday night, the Pablo Aslan Quintet performed in Brooks-Rogers Auditorium as part of the Ernest Brown World Music Series. The group, headed by Argentinian-born artist Pablo Aslan, delighted a diverse audience ranging from current students to faculty members to members of the local townsfolk with a lively tango-infused jazz. Aslan has performed and recorded with a number of prominent artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Shakira and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. Aslan leads his quintet on the bass, accompanied by pianist Emilio Solla, drummer Eric Doob, Diego Urcola on trumpet and Julien Labro on the bandoneon.
…Labro also had a fantastic solo on the accordina, which is a handheld instrument that produces an even sweeter tone than the bandoneon. Labro entranced the crowd with a masterfully improvisational solo, his fingers moving seemingly at the speed of light to play frankly ridiculous sequences of notes without a single misstep. …
Full review here