Jean-Sebastien Simonoviez
Born from a father music lover who adores Bach’s music and a mother, pianist amateur playing Chopin’s work. At home, one of his brothers, also pianist, studies Debussy but plays also all kind of music: from Scott Joplin to Dave Brubeck…
Jean-Sebastien is fascinated by his brother’s easiness to transcribe any melody and improvise on it.
At 5 years old, he starts studying classical piano with an “old school” teacher that puts him on it. At 7 years old, he integrates a music school where he is asked to choose a second instrument.
Stunned by Louis Armstrong’s recording, he sets his heart on the trumpet, which will develop his sense of melody and breathing. Until 14 years old, he assimilates base techniques of music (reading, writing, theory).
From 16 years old, he starts to play with other musicians and each encounter contributes to enrich his vocabulary.
The drummer of his first band Soma (Marc Mazzillo, Bernard Santacruz) owns a club well stocked. He makes him discover John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans…It is a shock. He dives in the intoxicating universe of those musicians.
In 1989, he records “Standards” from Andre Jaume with Oliver Clerc and Francois Mechali under CELP label.
Pascal Sale, a guitarist with who he furrows France, teaches him harmony and jam techniques.
In the 90’s, he participates to numerous projects (concerts and albums) with Europeans musicians (JP Llabador, Denis Fournier, JR Dalerci, Joël Allouche, Doudou Gouirand, Philippe Gareil, Bernard Jean, Maurizio Giammarco, Paolo Fresu…) and Americans musicians (Sangoma Everett, Jim pepper).
He also records “Tacha” (Nil Records) with his band Soma, distribution ZZ.
This trio will play for some time with Philippe Petrucciani.
In 1991, Jean-Sebastien records “Translucide” with Jean-Jacques Avenel and Tony Moreno.
In parallel, he is teaching at the Musical Institute of Professional Training (Salon de Provence). In the classroom, drums are set permanently, he plays more and more with his students. His attraction to the drums is so strong that he gets started seriously with Patrick Réhant’s help and participates in bands as a drummer with pianists such as Perrine Mansuy or Vincent Lafont.
At certain times, he goes with other musicians like Alain Jean Marie, Michel Grailler, Siegfried Kessler or even the English saxophone player, Peter king.
As a pianist, he meets and plays with Pierre Dayraud, Jacques Bernard, Stéphane Belmondo, Michel Zénino, Martine Kamoun, André Villéger, Michel Barrot…And tours with Senegalese percussionist Cheik Tidiane as well as with the quartet of Agathe Sahrahoui.
Late 90’s, he travels often to New York and even shares his time between the USA and France. The gigs, sessions and jam sessions allow him to practice and reinforce his art and knowledge of the American culture. There, he is in contact with musicians like James Cammack, Ari Hoenig, Essiet Essiet…
Back in France, Gerard de Haro offers him to record his first piano solo album “Vents et Marees” (La Buissonne/Harmonia Mundi, 2003). This album is well welcomed by the specialized press and knows a franc success in Europe and Asia.
In parallel, he integrates the band of Gerard Faroux where within he will meet Misja Fitgerald Michel, Micky and Ravi Coltrane, Gilles Naturel…
He then creates the band Transition with Francois Gallix, Gael Horellou, Yoann Serra and Clara Simonoviez. After many concerts, the quintet becomes a septet, integrating arrangements for 2 saxophones, 3 voices, double bass, drums and piano.
In 2007, he records “Crossing Life and Strings” (La Buissonne/Harmonia Mundi) with Jean-Jacques Avenel, Riccardo Del Fra, Barre Phillips, Steve Swallow and the quartet Opus 33.
In 2008, he tours with Gaël Horellou quartet with who he records the album “Pour la Terre” live at the Sunside with François Gallix and Ari Hoenig.
In 2010, he participates in Maurey Richards project and records “The best is yet to come” in company of Philippe Dardelle and Mourad Benhamou.
He creates and co-host Fontiers Jazz festival.
2011, recording of “To Frank” project from Clara Simonoviez in company of FR Gallix, G Horellou and Lolo Bellonzi.
In 2012, release of the album “Transition Cosmic Power” (Black and Blue/Socadisc – Hâtive!/Believe).
Release in 2013 of “Transe Lucide” album with Jean-Jacques Avenel and Tony Moreno (Hâtive !/Believe).
Beginning of 2014, Jean-Sebastien buys back a trumpet and fast enough works with Robert Astre around the way of approaching the instrument.
In parallel, he records “Multifaces”. with Jean-Paul Adam, Clara Simonoviez, François-Régis Gallix and Géraud Portal (Hâtive!/Believe).
End of 2014, then traveling to Vietnam, he meets saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan who encourages him to play the trumpet within Sax n’Art club.
Different projects in duo (piano, sax) and in quartet will take place all year long around originals but also Vietnamese music.