Hot Club of Detroit

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Hot Club of Detroit
Hot Club Detroit.jpg
Background Information





Years Active

2003 - Present


Mack Avenue Records



Evan Perri - guitar/leader
Julien Labro - accordion
Paul Brady - guitar
Jon Irabagon - saxophones
Shawn Conley - bass

Past Members

Colton Weatherston, Neil Mattson, Sam Trapchak, Andrew Kratzat, Shannon Wade, Dave Bennett


Archived Website


The Hot Club of Detroit plays a swinging style of European jazz popular in the 30's and 40's better known as "Hot Jazz". This fun and mysterious music was pioneered by a french gypsy guitar player by the name of Django Reinhardt who lived from 1910-1953. The Hot Club of Detroit is dedicated to keeping the gypsy spirit alive by performing this wonderful music with all the same "fire" and "emotion" that the original "hot jazz" groups did, as well as, interpretations of modern styles of gypsy jazz


Evan Perri

Evan Perri.jpg

Although he claims to have no Gypsy blood in him, Hot Club founder Evan Perri spent nearly six years roaming the campuses of five different colleges in search of the right music program. He studied jazz at Berkelee College of Music, Musictech College in Minneapolis, and Western Michigan before settling in at Wayne State University in Detroit. He is the son of a jazz guitarist, but Evan did not pick up a guitar until age 16 and never heard a Django Reinhardt recording until his twenties. However, while still a fan of greats like Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, he vividly remembers hearing Django for the first time and thinking, "This is it. This is what I've been looking for." The HCOD was born out of his desire to recreate the sound he describes as "Parisian Café 1936, but with better sound equipment" in Detroit. A dedicated student of Reinhardt and the gypsy guitar tradition, Evan is currently playing the "Model Jazz" guitar made


Julien Labro

Julien Labro.jpg

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.

French-born Labro was influenced early on by traditional folk music and the melodic, lyrical quality of the French chanson. However, he spent every last cent of his pocket money collecting CDs by jazz legends like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, thirsty for the originality, creativity, and the endless possibilities in their musical language.

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.

Equipped with advanced degrees in classical music, jazz studies, and composition, Labro draws from both his diverse academic background and eclectic musical taste in his professional life as a performer, arranger, and composer.

As a musician, Labro is constantly evolving artistically. He searches for new themes and untried concepts, transforming and developing his creative ideas into new projects. Piazzolla, a major influence and the reason Labro picked up the bandoneon, is also the title of his recent release on Azica Records with classical guitarist Jason Vieaux and A Far Cry chamber orchestra. It features Labro's arrangements of the tango master's Four Seasons. Other upcoming releases include Grammy-award winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson's Another Country (eOne Music) and critically acclaimed Hot Club of Detroit's Junction on Mack Avenue Records.

Labro's compositions on Junction reveal his broad musical inspiration, ranging from a piece that honors late pianist George Shearing ("Goodbye Mr. Shearing") to a Jean Cocteau poem read at Django Reinhardt's funeral ("Django Mort"). His arrangements on the album, which include Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and Parisian standard "La Foule", highlight Labro's innovative approach to traditional music and his willingness to transcend boundaries in melding different genres, styles, and sounds.

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, 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.

Recently, Labro has shared the stage or recorded with artists such as Brazilian pianist Joao Gilberto, Larry Coryell, John & Bucky Pizzarelli, Victor Goines, James Carter, Frank Vignola, Anat Cohen, Howard Alden, Tommy Emmanuel, Joel Frahm, Jason Vieaux, Lebanese oud master Marcel Khalife, and singer Cassandra Wilson.

On a creative level, Labro has been enlisted as an arranger for several professional ensembles, most recently for Ensemble Vivant of Toronto, the conductorless Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry, and Curtis On Tour from the Curtis Institute of Music faculty of Philadelphia.


Paul Brady

Paul Brady.jpg

In 2005 Paul Brady graduated from DePaul University with a degree in jazz studies. During that summer he performed with the Hot Club of Detroit for the first time. Within weeks following that performance at the Detroit Jazz Festival, the band was asked to record for Mack Avenue Records and Brady was invited to be a full time member. From 2005 to 2007, Brady was also on the faculty at the David Adler Center for Music and Arts in Libertyville, Illinois. There he taught guitar, bass and jazz improvisation while freelancing as a guitarist in Chicago.

As a classical guitarist, Brady made his recital debut as a part of the Adler Center's Faculty Concert Series, which included performances of chamber music with Mezzo soprano Cecila Hall and members of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. Brady has also studied conducting with Michael Lewanski and Kenneth Kiesler.

An active producer, Brady co-organizes the Detroit Django Reinhardt Festival along with HCOD leader Evan Perri. The two continue to bring this festival into the mainstream by prompting sponsorship and bringing in nationally known guest artists, who have included Howard Alden, Frank Vignola, Anat Cohen, James Carter.

Brady made his debut as a record producer in 2008, working with the Chicago jazz trio Kaleidoscope whose release "Map to the Ocean" is available through Brady finished producing the debut CD for the Chicago based flamenco trio, Idilio, which released in the spring of 2009.

As a writer, Brady has contributed to the to the encyclopedia of jazz musicians at and is a columnist and blogger for the magazine Wine and Jazz. He is also the author of It's About That Time, a music, wine, and finer things blog. Most recently, Brady was a contributing editor to the online edition of Jazz: the first 100 Years, by Dr. Keith Waters and Dr. Henry Martin.

Brady attended Rutgers University at Newark, where he taught part time while completing his Master's thesis in Jazz History and Research on Django Reinhardt. Brady lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and continues to perform with the Hot Club of Detroit and as a free lance jazz/classical guitarist, while writing, producing and teaching.


Jon Irabagon

Jon Irabagon.jpg

A favorite of both critics and musicians alike, saxophonist Jon Irabagon is one of today’s most respected jazz artists. An integral member of such notable ensembles as Mostly Other People Do The Killing, the Dave Douglas Quintet and the Mary Halvorson Quintet, as well as an established bandleader in his own right, Irabagon was the winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition and has since topped the Rising Star Alto Saxophone category in the DownBeat Critics’ Poll and been named one of Time Out New York‘s 25 New York City Jazz Icons.

His diverse career has not only taken him all over the world, but also to all parts of the musical spectrum, especially in jazz where he has embraced projects spanning the mainstream to the avant-garde. He has also performed with a variety of pop and rock artists and in the realms of contemporary classical, modern dance and musical theater. His current projects include his own bands Outright! and Foxy Trio, I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But The Blues with Mick Barr and Mike Pride, and a duo with drummer Barry Altschul.


Shawn Conley

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Bassist Shawn Conley was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. While in high school, Shawn won a position with the Honolulu Symphony. He then attended Rice University, where he studied with Paul Ellison, receiving his Bachelor and Masters in Music Performance. While at Rice, he received a Wagoner Fellowship to study in Paris with Francois Rabbath. After one year, he was awarded both the teaching and performance diplomas. Shawn has since served as a faculty member alongside Msr Rabbath at the bi-annual Hawaii Contrabass Festival.

Shawn won first place in the 2009 International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition. He was also a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz competition the same year. This past year he has played with Sting at the Apollo, as well as Peter Gabriel live on the Late Show with David Letterman. He has also performed with great musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Arturo O'Farrill, Gerald Clayton and James Carter. He regularly performs with The Hot Club of Detroit, The NOW Ensemble and The Knights Chamber Orchestra.

Shawn has attended the Tanglewood Music Center, Henry Mancini Institute, and Domaine Forget Academy, and has performed under conductors such as James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos, and Sir Andrew Davis.

As a studio musician, he has played on numerous soundtracks including True Grit, Tower Heist, Francis Ford Coppola's Twixt, and the HBO series Mildred Pierce.



CD's/Digital downloads:



External Links

Website at