Biréli Lagrène

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Biréli Lagrène
Bireli aux Granges le 26.08.06.jpg
Bireli aux Granges 26 August 2006
Background information
Born (1966-09-04) 4 September 1966 (age 52)
Alsace, France
GenresGypsy jazz, swing, jazz fusion, post bop, jazz rock
Years active1978–present
LabelsJazz Point, Dreyfus, Blue Note
Associated actsLarry Coryell, Jaco Pastorius, Miroslav Vitouš, Sylvain Luc, Stanley Jordan,

Biréli Lagrène (born 4 September 1966) is a French jazz guitarist. He came to prominence in the 1980s for his Django Reinhardt-influenced style. He often performs in swing, jazz fusion and post-bop styles.


Lagrène was born on 4 September 1966 in Saverne, Alsace, France, into a Romani family and community. His father and grandfather were guitarists, and he was raised in the gypsy guitar tradition. He started playing at age four or five, and by seven was improvising jazz in a style similar to Django Reinhardt's, whom his father admired and wanted his sons to emulate. In 1980, while still in his early teens, he recorded his first album, Routes to Django: Live at the Krokodil (Jazz Point, 1981).[1][2]

During the next few years, Lagrène toured with Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucía, and John McLaughlin, all of them guitarists, and played with Benny Carter, Benny Goodman, and Stéphane Grappellii. He joined Larry Coryell and Vic Juris in New York City for a tribute to Reinhardt in 1984, and went on tour with Coryell and Philip Catherine. He also performed with Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, the Gil Evans Orchestra, Christian Escoudé, and Charlie Haden. In 1989 he performed in a duo with Stanley Jordan.[1]

Lagrène recorded Gipsy Project (Dreyfus, 2001) and Gipsy Project and Friends (Dreyfus, 2002). With his usual cohorts Diego Imbert (double bass) and Hono Winterstein (rhythm guitar), the latter session featured Henri Salvador and Thomas Dutronc (son of Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc).


  • Routes to Django (Jazz Point, 1981)
  • Bireli Swing '81 (Jazz Point, 1981)
  • Fifteen (Antilles, 1982)
  • Live with Vic Juris (In-Akustik, 1985)
  • Lagrene and Guests (In-Akustik, 1986)
  • Stuttgart Aria, with Jaco Pastorius (Le Chant du Monde, 1986)
  • Inferno (Blue Note, 1988)
  • Jazz Piano Lineage (DMP, 1988)
  • Foreign Affairs (Blue Note, 1989)
  • Acoustic Moments (Blue Note, 1990)
  • Standards (Blue Note, 1992)
  • Live at the Carnegie Hall (Jazz Point, 1993)
  • Live in Marciac (FDM, 1994)
  • My Favorite Django (Dreyfus, 1995)
  • Bireli Lagrene - Special Guests Larry Coryell - Miroslav Vitous (Jazz Point, 1998)
  • Blue Eyes (FDM, 1998)
  • Duet (Dreyfus, 2000)
  • A Tribute to Django Reinhardt: Live at the Carnegie Hall and the Freiburg Jazz Festival (Jazz Point, 2001)
  • Gypsy Project (Dreyfus, 2001)
  • Gypsy Project & Friends (Dreyfus, 2002)
  • Gypsy Feeling (Edition, 2004)
  • Move (Dreyfus, 2005)
  • Djangology (Dreyfus, 2006)
  • Solo: To Bi or Not To Bi (Dreyfus, 2006)
  • Just the Way You Are (Dreyfus, 2007)
  • Electric Side (Dreyfus, 2008)
  • Gypsy Trio (Dreyfus, 2009)
  • Summertime (Dreyfus, 2009)
  • Mouvements (Universal, 2012)
  • D-Stringz (Universal/Verve, 2015)[3]


  • 1989 Super Guitar Trio - Live at Montreux [4] [5]
  • 2004 Bireli Lagrene & Friends:Live Jazz a Vienne (Dreyfus)
  • 2005 Django: A Jazz Tribute
  • 2005 Bireli Lagrene & Gypsy Project Live in Paris
  • 2006 Live in Paris (Dreyfus)
  • 2009 Monaco Dreyfus Night (Dreyfus)[6]
  • 2017 Biréli Lagrène: Voilà![7]


  1. ^ a b Ferguson, Jim; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 536. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  2. ^ Lankford, Jr., Ronnie D. "Biréli Lagrène | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Biréli Lagrène | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Live at Montreux 1989". AllAboutJazz.
  5. ^ "Live at Montreux 1989". JazzTimes.
  6. ^ "Biréli Lagrène | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  7. ^ Media, ALH. "Bireli Lagrene: "Voila!" Guitar Course - Presented By TAGA Publishing". Retrieved 2018-02-06.

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