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Biréli Lagrène


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Biréli Lagrène was born on the September 4, 1966 in Soufflenheim, (Lower-Rhin) in a traditional Gypsy family and community. He started playing the guitar at the age of four. When, at the age of eight, he recovered Django Reinhardt’s repertoire, his relatives were already calling him a child prodigy. Winning a Gypsy music festival (in Strasbourg) at the age of twelve gave him the opportunity to tour in Germany and later on, to record his live performance on the double LP Route to Django. Being offered a chance to leave for the United States, he met the greatest jazz musicians of the international scene such as Stéphane Grappelli, Benny Goodman, Benny Carter… In 1984, he met Larry Coryell in New-York. Later on, he was introduced to bassist Jaco Pastorius and ventured with him in the fusion jazz style. Together, they toured Europe, which contributed a great deal to Bireli’s musical emancipation. Returning to a more traditional style, Bireli recorded Gypsy Project and Gipsy Project and Friends in 2001.


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