Bireli Lagrene

Bireli Lagrene,

About Bireli Lagrene

Since the 1980s, Bireli Lagrene has been the undisputed king of jazz guitar.

Beginning in the early 80's, Bireli was a child prodigy who has brilliantly passed the cape of maturity, asserting himself day after day as a musician who is more and more inescapable in the world of guitar and jazz, where he is now a staple.

His story begins in 1966 in Saverne, France in the Alsace region - the heart of the gypsy community. Bireli was born into a family of musicians where he was introduced to the guitar at an early by his father, then by his brother. Bireli was first spotted by Matelot Ferré, Django Reinhardt's companion.

During those early years, Django was Bireli's "big thing." He was inspired by the master's choruses, listening to his records over and over again, trying at first to remake what he heard before finding his own style that we hear throughout Bireli’s first albums: "Routes to Django", released in 1980, "Biréli Swing '81" (1981) and then "Fifteen" (1982). A sort of trilogy in the form of a "free manifesto," according to the etymology of the word "manouche" ("free man"). So jazz, for Bireli, is mixed with this primordial freedom, "a freedom that has no limits...". "Django helped me to go and see what is happening elsewhere," Bireli says


  • "Django d’Or" for "French Musician" (1993 and 2002)
  • "Les Victoires de la Musique" in the category of "Jazz Album" for the album Front Page (2001)
  • "Les Victoires de la Musique" nomination in the category of "Jazz Album" for the album Gypsy Project and Friends (2003)
  • "Django d’Or" for "French Musician" (2002)
  • "Django d’Or" for "Balkan/Gypsy" guitar (2007)
  • Medal of "Chevalier des Arts & des Lettres" of France as presented by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication (2012) for significant contributions to the arts and literature