Heralded as “the next accordion star,” Julien Labro has established himself as one of the foremost accordion and bandoneón players in both the classical and jazz genres. Deemed to be “a triple threat: brilliant technician, poetic melodist, and cunning arranger,” his artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer, and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to astonish audiences worldwide.
French-born Labro was inﬂuenced early on by traditional folk music and the melodic, lyrical quality of the French chanson. Upon discovering the music of jazz legends like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, he quickly became inspired by the originality, freedom, creativity, and the endless possibilities in their musical language.
The new season will open with a trip to Jordan for the Jordan Citadel Festival in Amman, followed by several orchestral engagements throughout the United Stated, including a performance with the Arkansas Symphony and Jason Vieaux as part of the ACANSA Arts Festival. Labro and Vieaux’s collaboration will also result in the release of a new album entitled “Infusion”, which will include new arrangement of music by Brouwer, Gnattali, and Metheny, amongst others. On the jazz side, Labro is also working on a new project with saxophonist Jon Irabagon, and preparing for a second tour with trumpet player Diego Urcola, while continuing to perform with the Julien Labro Quartet and Hot Club of Detroit. In his free time, Labro is working on composing a new bandoneón concerto that will be a sequel to his accordion concerto “Apricity”.
For the Kalamazoo concerts, Labro will be joined by composer and pianist Gregg Kallor of New York City.
Education for the Arts is proud to partner with the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival for these performances.
Labro continues to amaze. He brings a modern harmonic sophistication to traditional heart-on-your sleeve accordion/bandoneon stylings, without losing the emotional impact of the tradition. – Piotr Michalowski, SEMJA