Biréli Lagrène (born September 4, 1966) is a French guitarist and bassist. He came to prominence in the 1980s for his Django Reinhardt-influenced style on the guitar, as well as for being a jazz fusion virtuoso on the electric guitar. He often performs within the swing, jazz fusion and post-bop mediums.[1]



Biréli Lagrène was born on September 4, 1966, in Soufflenheim, Bas-Rhin Alsace, France, in a traditional Manouche-Romani people (Gypsy) family and community. He started playing the guitar at the age of four. He grew up in the loving but tough environment of the "tzigane". His father Fisso (a very gifted violinist), his mother Berga and his brother Gaiti were his biggest influences. When, at the age of eight, he covered Django Reinhardt's repertoire, his relatives were already calling him a child prodigy. Winning a Romani music festival in Strasbourg at the age of twelve gave him the opportunity to tour in Germany and, later, to record his performance on the LP Routes To Django - live At The Krokodil.

Offered a chance to leave for the United States, Lagrène met some of the most distinguished jazz musicians on the international scene, such as Stéphane Grappelli, Benny Goodman, and Benny Carter. In 1984, he met Larry Coryell in New York. Later, he was introduced to bassist Jaco Pastorius and ventured with him into jazz fusion. Together, they toured Europe, which contributed a great deal to Lagrène's musical emancipation. Lagrène has also performed live with guitarist Al Di Meola.

Back to a more traditional style, Lagrène recorded Gipsy Project and Gipsy Project and Friends in 2002. Along with his usual cohorts Diego Imbert (double bass) and Hono Winterstein (rhythm guitar), the latter session featured Henri Salvador and Thomas Dutronc (son of legendary French pop pair Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc).


  • 1980 Routes To Django - live At The Krokodil (jazzpoint)
  • 1981 Biréli Swing '81
  • 1981 Down in Town
  • 1982 Fifteen (Antilles)
  • 1983 Down In Town
  • 1984 Live at the Canergie Hall relica
  • 1985 Live with Vic Juris Inakustik
  • 1985 A tribute to Django Reinhardt (Live at the Carnegie Hall & Freiburg Jazz Festival) 2 cd
  • 1986 Stuttgart Aria
  • 1986 Heavy'n Jazz (Jaco Pastorius)
  • 1986 Special Guests (Larry Coryell, Miroslav Vitous)
  • 1987 Inferno
  • 1988 Foreign Affairs
  • 1989 Highlights
  • 1990 Acoustic moments
  • 1992 Standards Capitol
  • 1994 Live in Marciac
  • 1994 The Music of Django Reinhardt IMPORT Bob Wilber Randy Sandke Mike Peters Bireli Lagrene
  • 1995 My favorite Django
  • 1998 The One And Only, together with Jimmy Rosenberg and Angelo Debarre (Hot Club Records)
  • 1998 Mike Reinhardt Choukar
  • 1998 Blue Eyes
  • 1999 Duet, together with Sylvain Luc
  • 2000 A Tribute to Django Reinhardt: at the Carnegie H.and the Freiburg Jazz Fest. reedition
  • 2000 Frontpage with Dennis Chambers, Dominique Di Piazza
  • 2001 Gipsy Project
  • 2002 Gipsy Project & Friends
  • 2004 Move
  • 2004 Bireli Lagrene & Friends Live Jazz à Vienne (DVD). L'intégrale en 32 morceaux du concert donné en 2002 par Biréli Lagrène et les meilleurs Jazzmen manouche.
  • 2005 Bireli Lagrene & Gypsy Project Live in Paris DVD
  • 2006 Djangology avec Big Band WDR de Cologne + solo To Bi or not to Bi
  • 2007 Just the way you are
  • 2008 Electric side
  • 2009 Summertime, together with Sylvain Luc
  • 2009 Gipsy Trio
  • 2010 Djangologists with The Rosenberg Trio
  • 2012 Mouvements


  • 2004 Live Jazz À Vienne (Dreyfus)[2]
  • 2005 Django: A Jazz Tribute
  • 2006 Live in Paris (Dreyfus)[3]
  • 2009 Monaco Dreyfus Night (Dreyfus)[4]


External linksEdit


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