Dave Kelbie


Dave Kelbie has devoted his professional career to playing rhythm guitar. Over the last 30 years he has been a prominent accompanist to many of the world’s leading jazz soloists and possibly every celebrated guitarist in the Gypsy jazz world.

His Quartet Lejazz and Fapy Lafertin released the iconic CDs Swing Guitars in 1994 and Hungaria in 1996, two seminal recordings that are as majestic for their music as they are for their sound – and viewed by many as the definitive Gypsy jazz albums since the last recorded releases of Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Out of print for nearly ten years they were re-released in 2013 to much acclaim as the double album 94-96 The Recordings. These were the debut recordings on the lejazzetal label and set the stage for a relationship with music production resulting in an exclusive catalogue of 22 titles.
Through his alliance with Fapy Lafertin have come performances with musicians such as Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos, Tcha Limberger, Bireli Lagrene, Mozes Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre and Lollo Meier.
After dissolving the Lafertin band he formed another quartet with the very celebrated French guitarist Angelo Debarre in 2002, an electrifying group that reignited interest in the mostly ignored later period compositions of Django Reinhardt. Featuring the great British violinist Christian Garrick the group toured for seven years to much critical acclaim from audience and media alike.
The groundbreaking UK-based multi-national Balkan music cooperative Szapora was a noteworthy departure from the jazz genre. Formed in 1996 as The Budapest Cafe orchestra, the band headed the Balkan music scene in Europe and the UK for a number of years, consistently featuring some of the finest European musicians and electrified audiences the world over.
In 2008 Kelbie started working with Australian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist George Washingmachine in the mostly Australian and very swinging George Washingmachine Quartet. The Quartet’s debut was at the Miri international jazz festival where they recorded the album Room 301 Sessions and toured throughout Europe for a number of years.
For 25 years he has held the rhythm guitar seat to UK guitar legend John Etheridge and his band Sweet Chorus, and more recently London’s super stylish vintage jazz band The Dime Notes with UK pianist and composer Sam Watts and clarinetist David Horniblow.
With a recent project; a seven year stretch with New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher and the mutli-award winning project Django a la Creole, Kelbie has become one of the most sought after rhythm guitarists on the world stage. He continues to work with New Orleans banjoist/guitarist Don Vappie in the recently formed very distinguished group, Jazz Creole and the very new Stuff Smith styled project called The Viper Club with Tcha Limberger and Parisian trumpeter Jerome Etcheberry.



Dave Kelbie’s rhythm guitar is undoubtedly one of the best in the world
Kelbie is the motor tonight, providing a strict, subtle pulse – whatever the tempo
the rhythmic rumbling of a folksy freight train
Kelbie with a remarkable rhythm on his guitar delivers an impressive performance
Kelbie always provides propulsive rhythm guitar
Kelbie maintains the pulse flawlessly at any speed from zero to a hundred and twenty
Sweet Chorus is propelled by the partnership of the guitarist Dave Kelbie and the bassist Malcolm Creese
The Rolls-Royce and Jaguar of British rhythm sections
Dave Kelbie produced such a solid percussive rhythm you could hear why the original Quintette didn’t use a drummer




June 2024

2024thu13jun8:00 pmthu10:30 pmThe Already in Berlin BandPhyllis CourtPhyllis Court, Henley UK

2024tue25jun12:00 pmtue2:30 pmThe Dime NotesCadogan HallCadogan Hall, London UK

2024thu27jun8:00 pmthu10:30 pmCapo Sings Trio ManoucheThe Boston Room, George IV, ChiswickGeorge IV, London UK

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July 2024

2024thu04jul7:30 pmthu9:30 pmThe Already in Berlin BandNorden FarmNorden Farm, Maidenhead UK

2024sat06jul7:30 pmsat10:00 pmThe Dime NotesEtchingham Music FestivalThe Assumption of Blessed Mary & St Nicholas

2024mon15jul8:00 pmmon10:30 pmViper ClubMNOP festival, Perigueux venue tbcvenue tbc MNOP festival Perigueux, France

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August 2024

2024fri09aug7:00 pmfri9:30 pmThe Already in Berlin BandDjango at The FringeArgyle and Cellar Bar, Edinburgh UK

2024sat10aug7:00 pmsat9:30 pmThe Already in Berlin BandDjango at The FringeArgyle and Cellar Bar, Edinburgh UK

2024sun11aug8:00 pmsun10:30 pmThe Already in Berlin BandDjango at Eden CourtEden Court, Inverness UK

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September 2024

2024sun22sep7:30 pmsun10:00 pmThe Dime NotesVenables TheatreVenables Theatre, Oliver, BC Canada

2024mon23sep7:30 pmmon10:00 pmThe Dime NotesEvangelical Church Theatre, KelownaEvangelical Church Theatre, Kelowna Canada

October 2024

2024sun20oct11:00 amsun1:00 pmThe Dime NotesThe Stables WavendonThe Stables, Wavendon UK

2024sat26oct7:30 pmsat10:00 pmThe Dime NotesBorough Theatre, AbergavennyBorough Theatre, Abergavenny UK

2024sun27oct7:30 pmsun10:00 pmThe Dime NotesTaliesin Arts Centre, SwanseaTaliesin Arts Centre, Swansea UK

November 2024

2024thu21nov8:00 pmthu10:30 pmViper ClubOpen Music Jazz Club, CominesOpen Music Jazz Club, Comines, Belgium

2024sun24nov8:00 pmsun10:30 pmCapo Sings Trio ManoucheThe Boston Room, George IV, ChiswickGeorge IV, London UK