Happy Birthday to Biréli Lagrène, who turns 54 today!
Biréli's playing is perhaps one of the guitar world's clearest examples of sheer natural talent. He started playing at the age of four or five, and was quickly recognized as a child prodigy. Equal to his phenomenal technique are his ears: he has perfect pitch and seemingly endless creativity when it comes to improvising.
Known principally as a "Gypsy jazz" guitarist, he is actually also proficient in several other styles and is also an accomplished bassist, violinist, and singer.
Here is Giovanni's tribute to Biréli:
If you're ready to learn some of Biréli's secrets, be sure to check out our TAGA Publishing course Biréli Lagrène: Voilà! It was a great pleasure to work with Biréli to create this video course.
During the filming sessions near his hometown in France, Biréli left everybody everybody speechless, delivering take after take of flawless, fresh and inspired improvisations. While transcribing these solos back in Tokyo, we found that it was often possible to set a metronome to recordings without the audio or the metronome going out of sync. That's how rhythmically tight Biréli's playing is!
Here is TAGA's Michael Kaplan interview with Biréli.