Between the guitar, and me? … An interlacing story that started when I was 18. A friend dropped his guitar, which was left uncared for, in my apartment. Glances from my side and surroundings… From contemplation to tactile fingerprints on the strings, our relationship and story evolved this then.
Then, I felt a need to learn classical guitar. However, two years later, I resigned from the courses, dissatisfied. It was not what I was looking for. I then toyed with electric guitar and joined a rock group that lasted for two years. All of a sudden, I was around 22, in the aftermath of a workshop with Christian Escoudé, I was contaminated by the Jazz-virus and contracted the disease of improvisation.
Therefore, I started to learn theory and harmony at the Geneva Conservatory and “les ateliers de AMR” (Association pour l’encouragement de la Musique improvisée). At the same time, in 1978 a Swiss scholarship allowed me to take classes at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne, for 4 years. I was then, mainly focused on theory. Absorbing influences from disparate sources, I was also taking African dance’s classes with the dancer Paco Yé. This initiation underlined already my attraction for diversity, rhythms and movements in Mandigue’s societies.
In 1984, I moved to New-York city. I had the need of meeting musicians I was venerating at this time, John Scotfield, John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell… And indeed, meeting these masters of the modern guitar has been fundamental in my grasping of music. I also loved to follow classes with the boper Barry Harrys, on the 8 th Av.
Back to Geneva, in 1985, I formed my first quartet that released 3 CD from 1991 to 1996 (Uma Chamada Brasileira -1991, Duvida -1995 , Snowmoe -1996 ), mostly composed by myself. It was Jazz with many influences, an atmospheric composition definitely acoustic and free playing. This has been a decisive moment. Since then, I have been playing in duo and trio, in all types of collaborations and orchestral combinations.
Yet, I have always been attracted by “intimist music” and groups with no drums, where each note is hanged in the air by a thread. The improvisation is essential, the skid perilous but the challenge, the creativity and the need of surpassing oneself are ubiquitous and pervasive. There is no album from all these experiences. Furthermore, I played in bigger formations, as well as with Africans and Brazilian bands. Two countries, which are fertile in music’s and rhythms, that I had the opportunity to visit quite often. For instance, in Brazil, from 1990 to 1997, I had the chance to perform with my quartet and I really enjoyed it.
In 1997, I surfed altogether on the Second line wave and we recorded with Little Big Beat an album with New Orleans rhythms /Little Big Beat ” Walker’s Walk “
From 1198 to 2011 I played mainly music from West Africa and Indian Classical. Since then the 3 groups I formed were definitely a mix between jazz and world music. May be something like “Ethno-jazz”.
To build my skills I had the great opportunity to participate at some workshops with musicians like:
Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Jim Hall, Joe Diorio, Pat Metheny, Red Mitchel, Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach, Mick Goodrick, Jack de Johnette, Paul Motian, Joe Lovano.
And to perform with: jazz
Matthieu Michel, Dominique di Piazza, Richie Perry, Simon Nabatov, Steve Arguelles, Marc Bertaux, Benoît Delbecq, Hubert Dupont, Olivier Clerc, Serge Zaugg, Carlos Baretto, Patrick Muller, Eric Truffaz, Banz Oster, Marcel Papaux, Yvor Malherbe, Hans Feigenwinter, Grégoire Maret, Léo Tardin, Ohad Talmor, Bob Wyatt, Karoline Höfler, Norbert Pfammatter, John Silverman, Florence Chitacumbi, Joe Kaiat, Bertrand Denzler,
World, African, Indian and Brazilian:
Toumani Diabaté, Kélétiki Diabaté, Basékou Kouyaté, Adama Dramé, Lassana Diabaté, Massiré Silla, Pandit Anindo Chaterjee, Rupak Kulkarni, Rakesh Chaurasia, Imran Khan, Léon Duncan, Stephan Rigert, Pandit Vikaj Maharaj, Apu Maharaj, Atul Kumar Upadhye, Imran Khan, Ibrahima Galissa, Mauro Martins, Diana Miranda, Leite Leitere, Kamal Sabri,Goudou Sabri, Pinku Bhatthacharia, Sandip Gosh, Fatoumata Dembélé, Mara Diabaté, Nana Cissokho, Christophe Erard, Ibou N’diaie.