The Belleville Quartet is a West Philadelphia based acoustic jazz ensemble. First formed in April 2011, guitarist Alban Bailly brought the group together to play the large songbook he had been putting together from his early days growing up in France and studying with gypsy jazz musicians in eastern France. Their repertoire ranges from that of legendary French gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt to the folk songs of Serbia, Romania, Macedonia and beyond. The lineup consists of Marina Vishnyakova on violin, Alban Bailly and Zach Fay on guitars, and Matt Stein on bass. Apart from performing for private events, the ensemble is very well established in Philadelphia, having performed in most major venues in the city (Kimmel Center, World Cafe Live, Fergies, Art Museum, etc.), as well as in NYC.
Philadelphia City Paper concert review:
"The second band, the Belleville Quartet, performing everything from Serbian folk to gypsy jazz, was the highlight of the evening. Russia native Marina Vishnyakova's violin soars above the rhythmic thump of Matt Stein's bass and intersects with the multi-faceted guitar tones of Zach Fay and Frenchman Alban Bailly. With four distinct sounds that simultaneously need the others to be whole, the quartet radiates unity and control — over their instruments, their music, and their audience." - Abby Minor
"Marina Vishnyakova (violin) grew up in Russia and was educated as a classical violinist graduated from Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory. She was a soloist and concertmaster of Youth SymphoJazz Orchestra, taught jazz strings class in Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory till 2009. In 2009 she got a Fulbright scholarship and went to the USA to get Masters degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Marina graduated in 2011 with Jazz Master's Award. Living in USA she participated in West Oakland Jazz Festival, Philadelphia International Festival of Art (PIFA), Clifford Brown festival in Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. Marina is a member and soloist of the Philadelphia based ensembles F!, Warren Oree's Philadelphia Freedom Jazz Orchestra, G. Calvin Weston's Treasure of the Spirits (Music of Mahavishnu Orchestra), Belleville Gypsy Jazz Quartet, Up Jumped Strings jazz trio. In 2011 she played in Pig Iron Theater Company's production of Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. In December, 2011 she performed at Chicago visual artist and designer Nick Cave Let's C show at Fabric Workshop and Museum. Currently she teaches violin at Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts."
"Alban Bailly is a multifaceted instrumentalist who studied
composition, jazz, and improvisation in France. He performed
extensively in Europe before moving to the United States in 2005.
Playing rock music in his youth, Alban moved onto studying jazz, which
led him to free improvisation. In 2001 he studied Arabic music and oud in Marrakesh, Morocco. After his return to France, he became an active performer, collaborating with various music and dance ensembles in Europe. Alban is in demand as an improvisor and continues to tour in United States, Canada, and Europe. He is a founder, composer, and guitarist of the ensembles Inzinzac and Yapp. He is also the guitarist for the modern tango group Oscuro Quintet and the Gypsy Jazz/Eastern European group Belleville Quartet."
"Zach Fay is a guitar player the from Philadelphia area and a graduate of Temple University. He began his music studies at the age of 13 and has studied with some of philadelphia's finest musicians. In additition to playing gypsy jazz with the Belleville Quartet, Zach plays guitar in the indie rock band United Kingdom and performs solo as a singer/songwriter. He spends the rest of his time teaching private guitar lessons and playing traditional American old-time and bluegrass music."
"Born and raised in Northeast PA, Matt Stein moved to Philadelphia in 2002 and has been an active bass player in the Philadelphia music community ever since. He graduated from Temple University's Jazz Studies program in 2006 with a bass performance degree. Matt has performed and traveled with many ensembles, including the band Hoots and Hellmouth. He also leads his own group, which performed a number of tribute shows for the late great drummer, Paul Motian, in the spring of 2012."