Bireli Lagrene was born a Sinti Gypsy on September 4th 1966 in the border region between France and Germany known commonly as the Alsace. He still lives in a caravan, unlike many of his contemporaries.
He started playing guitar at the age of four years, even by Gypsy standards this is still early, and was playing jazz by the age of seven.
Even at thirteen when he started recording, his maturity of playing was truly astounding. With a depth and passion of his own compositions only normally found (if your lucky) after many years playing, already coming to the fore.
As the "Django Style" of playing was the mainstream of his family's music, his father was a renowned guitarist in the thirties and his brothers and cousins are all competent self taught musicians, he became a bit of a Django copyist but he very soon moved on to create his own style. This style is very hard to define as he is constantly changing but always staying within the jazz spectrum. Bireli is classed as a guitarists guitarist always surprising and bloody cool with it.
He can be found most years playing at Samois sur Seine. Not only on stage but also with Babik on the river front and around the various Gypsy sites.
Early Recording. At thirteen years you can hear him shine through.
BL: Solo Guitar/Bass Gaiti Lagrene: Rhythm Guitar Tschirglo Loeffler: Rhythm Guitar Jan Jankeje: Bass Wolfgang Lakerschmid: Vibes Bernd Marquart: Trumpet Schmido Kling: Violin
Fiso Place BL Bireli Swing 1979 BL All of Me (Simons / Marks) Tschirglo Waltz (T. Loeffler) Latches (Gaiti Lagrene) I've Found a New Baby (F. Williams / J. Palmer) My Melancholy Baby (Burnett) Bluma BL Bireli Blues 1979 BL Wave (Jobim) Night and Day (Cole Porter) Boxer Boogie (Jan Jankeje)
Django Tunes brought kicking and screaming into the nineties. Nice clean, very tight, overproduced recording. Not for the purist
BR: Acoustic and electric Guitar Koono: Piano / Synths Dennis Chambers: Drums Anthony Jackson: Bass