Jean-Paul Estiévenart


Trumpeter Jean-Paul Estiévenart, currently a member of no less than twenty groups and ultra-sought after on the Belgian and European scene, is a real stickler for tradition and creativity, energy and refinement, elegance and sensitivity. He shows an unquestionable thirst for playing and sharing. Barely in his thirties, Jean-Paul Estiévenart is utterly unavoidable, from his "Django d’Or" in 2006, to his selection for the "European Youth Jazz Orchestra" and the "Octave de la Musique" award in 2009.

After ten years of classical training at the Académie de Saint-Ghislain, he has developed a real talent for his instrument. His quest to become a great classical soloist became apparent when he visited the jazz class and improvised for the first time: that day, it was obvious that Jean-Paul Estiévenart would really embrace jazz. The virus would not leave the trumpeter: still a teenager, he would leave for Brussels on an evening to play at one of the city’s all-night jam sessions, and would catch the first train of the morning back to get to class on time, an education which led to a "rage to play". Jean-Paul Estiévenart plays with ultra-talented young people from his own generation: Lorenzo di Maio, Igor Géhénot and Antoine Pierre, who would become the drummer in his pianoless trio alongside the double bass player Sam Gerstmans, partners with whom he feels at ease, perfect for real interactive playing. Behind The Darkness is the second opus for this trio, which puts everything on display, completely bluffing elements of tradition (hard-bop, Ornette Coleman, etc.) and perfectly integrating a new vision of writing: the album is perceived as a whole, but with the desire to incorporate several themes in the same composition. Solos are linked as if to tell a story and tracks are woven together to form movements such as the ones found in classical music, or acts like in a theatre production, with a variety of atmospheres which surprise the audience and demand an attentive ear. Spontaneity explodes in each chunk, especially during the three improvised miniatures “Quadruplets”, “Fenêtre” and “Café Yuka”, and also in Wayne Shorter’s "Myako", a soothing track which closes out an album that will go down in the history of the trumpeter's career.

Alongside his personal trio, Jean-Paul Estiévenart is also committed to groups ranging from quartet to big band: the Fabrizio Graceffa Quartet, Antoine Pierre’s "Urbex", the Manu Hermia Quintet, Lorenzo di Maio’s "Black Rainbow", "God Save The Swing! ", the "Jazz Station Big Band ", "Rêve d’Eléphant Orchestra", "Lg Jazz Collective" and some ten other formations. Recently, he has also had the opportunity to share the scene with Enrico Pieranunzi, Logan Richardson, Avishai Cohen, Joe Lovano and many others…

Photo © Mael G. Lagadec

Jean-Pierre Goffin

Jean-Pierre Goffin (1953) has been writing jazz cronicles, interviews and concert reviews for the magazine L'Avenir for more than 20 years already. He also writes for several websites and magazine LARSEN

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