Collective Listening Project

Accordionist Julien Labro Selects

Playlist No. 62

About the Playlist

February 2, 2022
Podcast Cover Image

In April 2016, Julien Labro dazzled audiences at Princeton on our Up Close series.  We’ve been waiting to have him back ever since. In anticipation of his return, this time with our longtime friends the Takács String Quartet, we asked Julien to share a playlist of music that holds special meaning for him.  If you don’t already have tickets to hear him at Richardson Auditorium on February 17, 2022 buy tickets soon!

SUE (Or in A Season of Crime) David Bowie with Maria Schneider Orchestra
I was aware of David Bowie as a personality and a rock star, of course, but I didn’t really start listening to his music until his final album Blackstar (2016). This track from Nothing Has Changed (2014) marks the beginning of his collaboration with heavyweight jazz musicians such as Maria Schneider and saxophonist Donny McCaslin who went on to become an instrumental part of Blackstar. Maria’s writing and arranging is incredible. The sounds she gets out of a big band is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s been a privilege for me to join her orchestra as a performer and to listen to her writing from within. I highly recommend Data Lords.

LEVITATE James Francies
I have been digging this pianist since his 2018 debut album Flight. He is super-original, cutting-edge, and musical. Lately, I’ve been listening to his new release, Purest Form (2021), on repeat and loving it. You can also listen to his unique approach on Pat Metheny’s latest album, Side-Eye, (another favorite of mine).

L’ENFER Stromae
I’ve been a fan of this artist since he came onto the scene with Cheese (2010). A Belgian-Rwandan singer-songwriter, rapper. and musician, Stromae bridges a musical influences ranging from Jacques Brel to Congolese folk music. This single L’enfer (hell) was just released, and I can’t wait for the whole album, Multitude, to be released sometime this year. Check out the You Tube clip for a translation and meaning of the song.

LUX AETERNA: “O Nata Lux”  Morten Lauridsen
Lauridsen is an incredible choral composer. I discovered his music in college, and it’s been with me ever since. I often listen to this piece especially during the time that we are experiencing now. It brings me peace. I couldn’t find my favorite recording of it on Spotify, but here is a You Tube link to it from the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Paul Salamunovich. It is divine.

NEW MAPS Tigran Hamasyan
Tigran Hamasyan is one of my favorite musicians across genres. He’s a virtuoso pianist and a wonderful composer. I love how he fuses elements of Armenian folk music, jazz, and classical. I recommend listening to anything by him (you will hear his musical evolution over the years), but this cut sums up what he has been up to recently. This is the last track on his latest 2020 release, The Call Within.

I love the sound and vibe of this band. They have very cool and heartfelt arrangements of traditional folk music from Argentina and other Latin American countries.

Related Experiences & Content