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French-American Jazz Exchange Archives

Alban Darche with John Hollenbeck   

JASS is a new quartet led by American drummer John Hollenbeck and French saxophonist Alban Darche that also features French double bassist Sébastien Boisseau and Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser, who now resides in New York City. The ensemble will create a new body of work composed collaboratively by Darche and Hollenbeck, who both use polyrhythmic textures and processes borrowed from groove and minimalist music. The group will rehearse and perform seven concerts in France, record the new compositions in the United States, and follow with touring stops in Cambridge, MA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC.

Cedric Hanriot with Jason Palmer

Cedric HanriotJason Palmer

French pianist and composer Cedric Hanriot will collaborate with American trumpeter Jason Palmer along with drummer Jonathan Pinson, guitarist Jeff Miles and bassist Michael Janisch in a musical homage to the work of science fiction writer Dan Simmons. Hanriot and Palmer will compose a suite of three movements using seven distinct melodies based on the famed "7 modes of limited transportation" created by influential French composer Olivier Messiaen to translate Simmon’s stories into original and improvisational music.   The project includes the live recording of the new compositions on the Whirlwind Recordings label, and concerts and master classes in France and the United States. 

Darius Jones with Emilie Lesbros

Darius JonesEmilie Lesbros

American saxophonist and composer Darius Jones and French vocalist and composer Emilie Lesbros will create new works inspired by the French actress, novelist, playwright, poet, and avant-garde singer Brigitte Fontaine. Jones and Lesbros will be joined on the project by French bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and Americans Ches Smith (drums) and Matt Mitchell (piano). The resulting eclectic musical works will feature French lyrics dealing with the relationship between African-American and French cultures. The new compositions will be rehearsed and recorded in Brooklyn, NY and performed at venues and festivals in the United States and France.

Jozef Dumoulin with Ellery Eskelin

Jozef DumoulinEllery Eskelin

French keyboardist and composer Jozef Dumoulin will write a new repertoire for a trio that includes American tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and drummer Dan Weiss.  Using open compositional forms combining written materials, sets of rules, and free improvisation, Dumoulin will work to forge a new sound grounded in the jazz tradition that also takes into account the influences of his American partners, such as electronic and classical Indian music.  The project includes a residency at Triton in Paris, a recording to be released on the French label Bee Jazz, and a series of concerts in France. 

Laurent Coq with Walter Smith III

Laurent CoqWalter Smith          

French pianist Laurent Coq and American saxophonist Walter Smith III will each contribute half the compositions, respectively, for a suite of music that celebrates the early life and achievements of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch du Gilbert du Métier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette.  A French aristocrat, Lafayette fought alongside the colonists in the American Revolution and also played a significant role in the following French Revolution.  Coq and Smith III will be joined Americans Joe Sanders on bass and Damion Reid on drums to rehearse and record their compositions as part of the project.


Amir ElSaffar with Sylvain Barou
Iraqi-American trumpeter, dulcimer player and vocalist Amir ElSaffar and his New York-based colleagues Emmanuel During (violin, guitar, lute) and Mavrothi Kontanis (uod) will collaborate with Sylvain Barou (wooden flute) of Brittany and the Paris-based French-Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani to compose new works that combine elements of jazz, Middle Eastern music and Celtic folk tunes. The project will include a five-day residency in New York, a three-day Paris residency, recorded live performances in both cities, and a studio recording.

Jeremy Udden with Nicolas Moreaux
American saxophonist Jeremy Udden and French bassist Nicolas Moreaux will collaboratively compose new jazz pieces influenced by the folk traditions of their respective countries. The composers will be joined by Americans Robert Stillmann (saxophone and Fender Rhodes) and R.J. Miller (drums) as well as the French banjo and guitar player Pierre Perchaud. The new work will be rehearsed and recorded in Paris and performed at venues in New York City and Boston. The composers and full band will also conduct a number of workshops for secondary school students during their tour of the northeastern United States
Larry Ochs with Didier Petit
The East West Collective is a collaboration of Americans Larry Ochs (saxophone) and Miya Masaoka (Japanese koto), Frenchmen Didier Petit (cello, voice) and Sylvain Kassap (clarinet), and the Chinese guzheng player and vocalist Xu Fengxia that combines the compositional structure and sounds of free jazz with traditional Eastern music forms. The project will support three concert engagements at prestigious venues in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle; and five engagements at important French jazz festivals in Brest, Nantes, Paris, Strasbourg, and Tours. The ensemble is also planning a studio recording session while in France.

Sylvain Rifflet with Jon Irabagon
Saxophonist and clarinetist Sylvain Rifflet and his French ensemble members Joce Menniel (flute, electronics), Phil Gordiani (guitar), and Benjamin Flament (percussion, electronics) will work with American saxophonist Jon Irabagon on a project that celebrates the work of the eccentric, yet influential, Blind American composer and street performer Moondog (Louis Hardin 1916-1999). The project will include the composing of new music, a premier of the work at the prestigious Banlieues Bleues Festival outside of Paris, and the recording of a studio album.

William Parker with François Tusques
The cultural threads that connect France with New Orleans and New York will be explored by the French American Peace Ensemble, which is comprised of Americans William Parker (bass), Hamid Drake (drums), and Kidd Jordon (saxophone); and French musicians François Tusques (piano) and Louis Sclavis (bass clarinet, saxophone). Parker will compose a new musical suite for the ensemble which will be performed at venues in New Orleans, New York and Seattle. The performance at the Vision Festival in New York will be filmed and recorded. Discussions are underway for festival performances in France as well as for a studio recording.


John Hébert with Benoit Delbecq
Double bassist John Hérbert will work with percussionist Gerald Cleaver and French pianist and keyboardist Benoit Delbecq to create, record and perform a three-movement jazz suite based on his experiences as a Cajun raised in southern Louisiana. The project will include time in Paris (rehearsal and performances), New York (performances and recording), and New Orleans (performances, television and radio appearances, and a workshop at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts).

Keith Witty with Christophe Panzani
Bassist Keith Witty and Guillermo Brown on drums, electronics and vocals will collaborate with French saxophonist Christophe Panzani to further develop their jazz trio Thiefs through rehearsal, the production of a studio recording, hiring a publicist, and touring engagements in France and the United States to promote the release of their CD. In addition to their performances, the artists will conduct master classes at various American universities and two Paris conservatories.

Somi with Ibrahim Maalouf
Vocalist Somi working with her American colleagues guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Michael Olatuja, drummer Obed Calvaire, and pianist Toru Dodo will partner with French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf on a project investigating the role of women and girls in the recent protests sweeping across the Arab world. Activities will take place in France and the United States, including composing, recording, post-production, and performances in Paris, New York and other French and American cities.

Tarbaby with Marc Ducret
The quartet Tarbaby (pianist Orrin Evans, saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Nasheet Waits) will collaborate with the French jazz guitarist Marc Ducret on a musical homage to the French philosopher and psychologist Frantz Fanon. The project will take place in France and the United States and include the creation, rehearsal and professional recording of new work influenced by the writings of Fanon on decolonization and the struggle for liberation. The collaboration will perform the work in New York and Paris as well as conduct a workshop at the Girard Academic Music Program in Philadelphia.

A list of prior grantees of the French-American Jazz Exchange can be found on the website of Chamber Music America.

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