Julien Labro and the Spektral Quartet at SubCulture
Julien Labro and the Spektral Quartet bring the music from their recently-released full-length, From This Point Forward, to New York City for the first time this October. Featuring groove-centric, danceable tunes from Argentine-born composers like Fernando Otero and Diego Schissi, this project endeavors to uncover music for bandoneon/accordion and string quartet beyond the Astor Piazzolla canon.
Program to be announced.
Julien Labro and the Spektral Quartet had not yet crossed paths before being paired for the Big Squeeze accordion summit at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in 2012, but only moments after walking off stage the group decided a long-term collaboration was an artistic necessity. Following appearances on the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society’s “Just Summer” series and the International Beethoven Festival, the fivesome headed straight for the studio to record an album of South American music on Azica Records. Moving beyond the expected repertoire of Astor Piazzolla, Labro and Spektral Quartet are digging into the powerhouse grooves of Argentinian composers such as Diego Schissi and Fernando Otero, the labyrinthine rhythms of Puerto Rican-born jazz alchemist Miguel Zenón and new Labro arrangements of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Dino Saluzzi, Carlos Gardel and Aldemaro Romero. This vital and exuberant music is largely unheard in North America, but Labro and Spektral Quartet aim to change that, one concert at a time.
Deemed “brilliant” by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, Julien Labro has established himself as one of the foremost accordion and bandoneon players in both the classical and jazz worlds. His artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to astonish audiences worldwide.
After graduating from the Marseille Conservatory of Music, Labro began winning international awards, taking ﬁrst prize in the Coupe Mondiale in 1996 and the Castelﬁdardo Competitions in 1997. After sweeping ﬁrst place in the Marcel Azzola, Jo Privat and Medard Ferrero competitions in 1995 and 1998, Labro moved to the United States to further pursue his studies and musical dream. There he embraced other genres of music, ranging from pop and hip hop to electronic/techno and rap, as well as Latin, Indian, Middle Eastern, and other types of world music.
Labro tours with jazz groups such as the Frank Vignola Ensemble, Jazz Wagon, The Oblivion Project, and Hot Club of Detroit. His performance schedule includes jazz venues such as Birdland, Blue Note, Yoshi’s, Dazzle, The Green Mill, Nighttown, Sculler’s, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Dakota Jazz Club, Jazz Kitchen, and festivals such as Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Detroit Jazz Festival, Blissfest, Jazz Salt Lake City, Soave Guitar Festival (IT), Quebec International Music Festival (CA), the International Finnish Accordion Festival, and the International Las Vegas Accordion Convention, where he was featured with accordion legends Dick Contino and Art Van Damme.
In addition, he has been a guest artist with numerous symphonies and chamber ensembles such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, A Far Cry chamber orchestra, the Cape Cod Symphony, the Grosse Pointe Symphony, the Birmingham-Bloomﬁeld Symphony, the Saginaw Symphony, the Macomb Symphony, the Bijou Orchestra, the Michigan Pops Orchestra, the Linden String Quartet, the Prairie Ensemble, and the Spektral Quartet.
With its innovative programming consistently filling venues with a “crowd that other classical presenters would kill to attract” (Chicago Classical Review), the Spektral Quartet has established itself as one of Chicago’s most intrepid and adroit ensembles. With a priority on evaporating the perceived boundary between traditional masterworks and the music of the present, Spektral concerts feature the likes of Beethoven and Mozart alongside Carter and Adés.
Hailed by Time Out Chicago as having “forged a reputation for fiercely on-point performances as well as some of the city’s most imaginative chamber programming,” the Spektral Quartet continues to close the distance between performer and audience member. For its annual Sampler Pack series at the Empty Bottle, quartet movements are extracted and shuffled to explore unexpected artistic connections in an informal bar setting. For 2011′s Epistolary program, a film depicting the rising deadline anxieties between quartet and commissioned composer were produced as a comic short film, screened prior to the world premiere of the score in question. As bold advocates for Chicago’s dynamic new music scene, Spektral recently produced Break Right Through That Line, a concert featuring works by Northwestern University faculty composers and their protégés.
The 2013-14 season marks the second year of the Spektral's residency at the Music Department at the University of Chicago, where they direct the department's chamber music program, conduct workshops, collaborate with the Department's renowned composition studio, and perform in concert throughout the year.
$25 in advance, $30 day of performance