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Face to Face

Just imagine a joint session with guitarists  whose styles can be so close and yet so remote. Here are Kazumi Watanabe and Boulou&Elio Ferre for a strings only accoustic summit.
The session will be held on 2006/06/03 at Paris Sunset/Sunside.

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Kazumi Watanabe

Kazumi Watanabe Born in 1953 in Tokyo, Kazumi Watanabe was taken up with the jazz tradition in his teens, and has studied electric guitar under Sadanori Nakamure. He made his solo debut in 1971 with the album "INFINITE", and was acclaimed as a promising guitar prodigy. In 1979, he joined a group of innovative musicians such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Akiko Yano and Shuichi Murakami to form the legendary all-star band KYLYN, making an impact on the Japanese music scene. In autumn of the same year, he participated in the world tour of Yellow Magic Orchestra. Its huge success brought the name KAZUMI an international recognition. His works during the 80s have built him a reputation as the precursor of jazz-fusion in Japan, especially with "TOCHIKA", one of his record-breaking hit albums. Playing in the US and Asian countries under his own leadership and performing with numerous top musicians of the world, he was prized Nanri Fumio Award in 1991 and Grand Prix of Jazz Disc in 1984, among others. In the 90s, Kazumi explored new ground in the classical idiom with accoustic guitar. He received enthusiastic welcome performing in European cities such as Barcelona and Rome in 1991, Sofia and Lisbon in 1995, and Paris in 1997. From his "ESPRIT" released in 1996 through "DANDYZM"(1998) up to "ONE FOR ALL" recorded live at the Bottom Line in New York, his recording works are representative of his original style which places Kazumi in the forefront of the music scene. Later on, he also launched into multimedia packages through DVD releases such as "LES JEUX INTERDITS". Chosen Best Jazzman 24 times in a row by Swing Journal's annual poll, he has been producing musical events, and improvising, composing and arranging in a constant approach to create his own musical universe. To celebrate his 30 years of professional career, he presented the "Suite for Guitar" in January 2001, a composition/performance in which he challenged the realms of possibility of his cherished fretboard instrument - acoustic, electric and ethnic guitars. Kazumi's passion for challenge and willingness to break the barrier of musical genres never cease to fascinate all music-lovers. He has been teaching jazz courses as a guest professor at Senzoku Gakuen College since 1996.

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Boulou Ferre

Elios Ferre The heir of a gypsy family, Boulou Ferré was born on april 24th, 1951 in Paris. His father, Matelo Ferré and his uncle, Baro Ferré, were both musicians and members of the famous Hot Club de France Quintet with guitar genius Django Reinhardt and violin player Stephane Grappelli. Starting from the age of six, Boulou began playing jazz guitar with his father, alternatively studied classical guitar with Francisco Gil, and played his first concert at the Paris Guimet Museum when he was eight. At the age of 12 he became a studio sideman - for french singer Jean Ferrat and others - and recorded his first solo disc on the Barclay label. One year later, in 1964, he was on the bill of the renowned Antibes Jazz Festival and opened the show for John Coltrane. His third record for the Barclay label was a tribute to Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie, on which he was backed by the Paris All Stars band, including musicians such as Kenny Clarke, Pierre Michelot, Eddy Louiss and Maurice Vander. This disc was awarded four stars in the american jazz magazine Down Beat. Boulou then played several times at the Olympia theater in Paris with the Francois Rauber orchestra. His experiments in the domain of jazz brought him in contact to jam or work with greats like Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Philly Joe Jones, Warne Marchh, Chet Baker, Stephane Grappelli, Svend Asmussen and Louis Vola, who was the double bass player with Django Reinhardt. But at the same time, Boulou Ferré studied baroque classical music and theory with the great composer Olivier Messiaen, who guided him to become a great specialist and instrumentist of the music of J.S. Bach. At the begining of the 70's, Boulou played with the vibraphonist and multi-instrumentist Gunter Hampel, then with Steve Potts, along with guitarist Christian Escoudé and japanese pianist Takashi Kako, with whom he founded, in 1974, his own Corporation Gypsy Orchestra, noticed and quoted by Frank Zappa and Carlos Santana, among others. From 1978, he started playing with his brother Elios as a duet and they recorded a string of albums for the Steeplechase label. This formula was so successful that the brothers went on numerous tours - in France, UK, US, Canada, Australia, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Asia - and played the great festivals - Chicago, Quebec, Montreal, Nice, Antibes, Edimbourg, Seville, Caracas, Mexico, Florence, Oslo... In the mid-80's. Boulou became a founder member of the Trio Gitan( Gypsy Trio) with Christian Escoudé and Babik Reinhardt, the late son of Django. In 1992 the Ferré brothers played with a mini-big band including Al Levitt, Gilbert Rovère, and Lionel & Stephane Belmondo. In 1996, the duet was again on the bill of the Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois-sur-Seine. By the end of the 90's Boulou & Elios had the idea of a project including three harmonic instruments, first with the arrival of pianist Michel Graillier, later replaced by Alain Jean-Marie. The album Intersection, recorded in the autumn of 2001, marked the beginning of this collaboration. The trio played the New York Django Reinhardt Festival, and the Carrefour Mondial de la Guitar de la Martinique. In 2002-2003, the concept was extended to a quartet formula with double bass player Gilles Naturel for the album The Rainbow of Life. The arrival of new double bass player Riccardo Del Fra, an ex-Chet Baker sideman, led to the recording of the new album Shades of a Dream in 2004. .

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Elios Ferre

Elios Ferre


Elios was born in a gypsy family on the 18th of décember 1956, in Paris. Like his brother, he started learning jazz guitar from his father at the age of six and simultaneously studied classical flamenca guitar with Francisco Gil. He then learned classical music theory from Pierre Lantier (a Prix de Rome diploma teacher) and took part in numerous experiments, among them the Gypsy Corporation Orchestra at the beginning of the 70's. This led him to meet and play with Larry Coryell, Ed Thigpen, Al Levitt, Svend Asmussen, Louis Vola and bandleader Raymond Le Senechal. Elios also writes music for TV broadcasts and movie soundtracks. Associated to his brother Boulou since 1978, he is not only a stylish guitarist, but also a brilliant writer and arranger ("Gypsy Dreams", "The Rainbow of Life", or the wonderfully intricate "Jardin à la Française" , on the new album 'Shades Of A Dream). As a sideline, Elios maintains the family tradition established by his uncle Baro by playing swing waltzes of the 30's and 40's, such as "Panique" and "La Folle".

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