The Baguette Quartette is a San Francisco Bay Area group that plays music that was heard in Paris between 1920 and 1940 on street corners, in cafes, and in popular dance halls. Its repertoire consists of valses musettes, tangos, pasos dobles, fox trots, marches and realistic songs. They have recorded five CDs: A LA NOCE (2010),TOUJOURS (2004), CHEZ MOI (2001), RENDEZ-VOUS (1998), and L'air de Paris (1995). Bon Appétit, Café Classics, a compilation CD containing tunes drawn from our first three CDs, is available in many retail stores.
Big Lou has been a fixture on the Bay Area accordion scene for decades. She played in Polkacide and founded Those Darn Accordions. Other projects include The Stir-Ups, Thee Hellhounds and Salut Matelot. She has been a guest artist with the San Francisco Symphony and the London Philharmonia. You can read more about her at www.accordionprincess.com.
Berkeley native Rachel Durling received her B.Mus. from Mannes College of Music in New York. She has performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nel Dolce Tempo, Teatro Bacchino, California Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Composer's Orchestra, the nuevo-tango group New York-Buenos Aires Connection, Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble, the cuban danzon group Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion, and Virginia Iglesias Flamenco Dance Academy. In addition to her work with Baguette Quartette, Rachel plays regularly with her chamber groups The Armanino Trio and Corvo String Quartet. Rachel has also been active as a violin teacher for the last twenty years; she is on the faculty at The Crowden School and Black Pine Circle School.
John Schott moved to the Bay Area in 1988 from his hometown Seattle, where he studied with jazz legends Julian Priester and Gary Peacock and classical composer Bun-Ching Lam. John is a member of the groove-jazz band T. J. Kirk, nominated for a Grammy for their 1997 release "If Four Was One". Among many other recordings, he has four CDs under his own leadership, most recently "Shuffle Play: Elegies For The Recording Angel". His avant folk-jazz-blues band, The Typical Orchestra, plays frequently around the Bay Area. He lives in Berkeley with his partner Naomi and their son Ezra. Check out John's web site.
Originally from the Chicago area, Rich has played blues and R&B with many groups in Illinois and the San Francisco Bay Area. He was introduced to the musette style by the French bluesman Paris Slim. Rich can also be found in the bass section of the Prometheus Symphony.
Before founding the Baguette Quartette in 1993, Odile played the accordion for many years in the cafes and restaurants of her native Paris. She mastered the traditional Parisian repertoire as well as Gypsy cabaret music. She travelled all over Europe with a variety of musicians, dancers and theater companies, before moving to Berkeley in 1992. Odile stepped away from performing with the Quartette in 2013, but we occasionally talk her into performing with the group!
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"...accordionist Odile Lavault is the personification of 1950s Paris."
—Peter Stack, SF Chronicle
"...the Baguette Quartette has carved out a niche for itself as the Bay Area's premier musette band."
—Lawrence Kay, SF Weekly
"...the Baguette Quartette is no oompah band..."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"...accordionist Odile Lavault's awesome French musette band is one of the coolest acoustic acts in town. Faithful renditions of Parisian cafe music from the 1920s and '30s, performed with a compelling, enthusiastic love of the material, and plenty of sheer musical know-how. It's different, it's great, and it's wonderful to listen to!"
—Joe Sixpack (KALX)
"The amazing juggling act of the Baguette Quartette is that they manage to be chic, fun, casual, disciplined, corny and completely musical all at the same time. There are no compromises and yet this disc sounds like anything but a museum piece."