31st Vilnius Jazz Festival. 11-14 October, 2018

Ping Machine

France

Frédéric Maurin - g, electronic, direction
Andrew Crocker – tp
Fabien Norbert – tp, flgh
Julien Silvand - tp, flgh
Florent Dupuit - ts, fls
Jonas Muel – ts, cl
Jean-Michel Couchet – as, ss
Fabien Debellefontaine - as, cl, fl
Guillaume Christophel – bs, bcl
Thibaut Du Cheyron – tb
Lucas Spiler - btb
Yannick Lestra - p
Raphaël Schwab – db
Rafaël Koerner - dr
Stephan Caracci – perc

Vilnius Jazz audience has enjoyed performances of quite a few impressive French jazz orchestras in the past. This genre is highly regarded and intensively fostered in France. The country prides itself on Grands Formats, the French federation of jazz and improvised music professional large ensembles, which for a number of years was presided over by Frédéric Maurin, the founder, an artistic director and guitarist of Ping Machine.

He formed Ping Machine in 2004. Since then the orchestra has been considered as one of the most innovative European jazz ensembles. Drawing inspiration from Olivier Messiaen, Igor Stravinsky, Gerard Grisey, Gil Evans, Frank Zappa and Steve Coleman, Maurin writes original music for the ensemble.

Breaking rules, experimenting with sounds, Ping Machine enjoys sharing the thrill of being on stage with the audience. The sound created by the orchestra is neither a mental thing nor a speech intended to be interpreted – it always contains something that communicates physically, beyond words and concepts. The artistic line is to carry the audience through original soundscapes that allow the soloists to go beyond the traditional framework of improvisation. The collective dimension of the ensemble, the energy and generosity of each individual produce music that is radical and powerful.

In 2014, Ping Machine garnered “Victoires du Jazz”, the French Grammy award. The orchestra’s three out of five albums received Jazz Magazine’s “Choc” and “Choc de l’annee”, two – Academie Charles Cros’ “Coup de Coeur” and Citizenjazz’s “Disque elu”.

According to critics, Ping Machine’s live performances are as incredible as in the studio.

The concert in Vilnius will be one of the very last opportunities to listen to this legendary band, since from January 2019 Frédéric Maurin will be the next artistic director of French Orchestre National de Jazz.

Frédéric Maurin was raised with the music of Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and King Crimson. After graduating as an engineer, he soon devoted himself entirely to music. He studied jazz as well as classical composition.

Maurin is also a guitarist of contemporary and multi-disciplinary ensemble Amalgammes led by Christophe Mangou. He also plays in Andrew Crocker’s Quintet Free, Flow & Fly and is a member of Trio RCM with organist Yves Rechsteiner and percussionist Henri-Charles Caget, a very unusual trio dedicated to the music of Frank Zappa. In 2015, Maurin created the guitar trio Flamenco Punk with Christelle Séry and Pierre Durand.

In 2011–2017, he was the president of Grands Formats and was actively involved in the federation, working on how to improve conditions for a better development of large jazz ensembles in Europe.

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