29th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 13-16 October, 2016

Vincent Peirani - Emile Parisien "Belle Époque"

France

Vincent Peirani - acc
Emile Parisien – ss

Having collected the main French jazz awards over several years these young Parisians are, possibly, the hottest jazz stars in France. Both musicians are the recipients of the Victoires du Jazz and the Prix Django Reinhardt, which is given to jazz Artist of the Year by the Académie du Jazz. Last year, the German ECHO Jazz has recognized the duo as the best international group.

Peirani and Parisien first met in 2009 following an invitation from veteran Swiss-born drummer Daniel Humair to play with his quartet. Extensive touring and one recording (Sweet&Sour) led to the formation of the duo. The following year Parisien sided Peirani for his debut solo album. In 2014, the duo released Belle Époque (ACT Records), which turned to be a jazz sensation in Europe.

With it both jazz chameleons bowed to their native music tradition and its cradle – the epoch of freedom, happiness and carefree joy. The acclaimed experimentalists paid tribute to the New Orleans master saxophonist Sidney Bechet, a huge star in France in the 50s, and also revisited other classics as well as introduced four new compositions.

Their imagination is boundless, sources of their inspiration are as diverse as one can imagine – from pop to 20th century composers, from jazz to French folklore and world music.

Accordion and soprano saxophone might sound like an unusual pairing, but as two reed instruments they complement each other to perfection. Following the footsteps of French jazz greats – accordionist Richard Galliano and saxophonist Michel Portal – Peirani and Parisien literally breathe new life into this singular format. They know no technical or stylistic obstacles, their improvisations flow with unbelievable ease, joy, self-irony and humour.

Vilnius Jazz is the last stop on Belle Époque Baltic tour. Since September 29 the musicians were having 14 everyday-concerts in Estonia, Latvia and Finland, and before soon they will appear in London Jazz Festival. Currently they are on the bounce!

Accordionist, clarinettist, composer and vocalist Vincent Peirani has a reputation as one of the most accomplished and innovative musicians of his generation.

Before he chose jazz, he studied classical clarinet at the Conservatory of Nice, later won numerous awards in international classical accordion competitions including Europe’s major ones in Klingenthal (Germany) and Castelfidardo (Italy).

In 1998, he decided to continue his education in the Department of Jazz and Improvised Music at the Paris National Conservatoire, which he graduated with Cum Laude diploma. His big breakthrough was garnering the Prix d’Orchestre at the La Défense Jazz Competition in 2003. This victory opened the doors for him to work with the crème-de-la-crème of the French jazz scene such as Daniel Humair, Denis Charolles, Laurent Dehors, Michel Portal and Louis Sclavis to name but a few, and also enabled Peirani to appear at festivals all around Europe (Bayreuth, Salzburg, Vienna, Rome, Stockholm, Trossingen).

Perani is strikingly versatile: he is at home in French Chanson, heavy metal and Indian music. In fact, he has even shared the stage with French tenor Roberto Alagna.

In 2013, The French Jazz Magazine named him Artist of the Year for the wealth of variety, technical top-difficulties and percussive inventiveness. The same year, the accordionist received the Prix Django Reinhardt. In 2014, he won Victoires du Jazz in the Discovery of the Year category as well as German ECHO Jazz award as the best international artist.

This year Montreux Jazz Festival hosted Peirani in a project presenting the foremost jazz musicians of a new generation.

Saxophonist Emile Parisien is dubbed a unicum of jazz. Expert of his instrument, this witty musician has inherited the legacy of his greatest predecessors.

While still a pupil at the college, he collaborated with seasoned jazz masters. After graduating from the Conservatory of Toulouse he moved to Paris and started working with Daniel Humair, Michel Portal, Jacky Terrasson, Yaron Herman and Manu Codjia among other jazz coryphées.

In 2004, he formed the Quartet, which soon became the sensation of jazz festivals and clubs. John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Steve Lacy, Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor, the icons of European academic music scene Hector Berlioz, Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schönberg, as well as contemporary punk and hip-hop are the inspiration sources for the improvisations of these virtuosos mesmerising the audiences from the very first to the very last sound they produce.

In 2007, Parisien became a Talent of the Fond d’action Sacem. The Foundation enabled him to release two CDs of his Quartet. Today, his discography amounts to ten albums four of which are quartet, one quintet and one – a duo with Vincent Peirani. Parisien Quartet tours around Europe.

34-year-old saxophonist has an impressive collection of awards: Prix Frank Tenot, Jazz Primeur of the French Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AFIJMA (festival organization) Prize (all three in 2009); the Prix Django Reinhardt, given to the Artist of the Year (2012). His international career is blooming.

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