Compilation Available on Bandcamp

Hi everyone,

my records “Introducing” and “Roll The Dice”, previously unreleased are now available to download on Bandcamp.

“Introducing” features Jeremy Siskind-piano, Noah Garabedian-bass, Julien Augier-drums. July 2008, Acoustic Studios, New York

“Roll The Dice”features Scott Tixier-viloin, Romain Pilon-guitar, Tony Tixier-piano, Joachim Govin-bass, Anne Paceo-drums. June 2007, UMJ Studio, Paris

Jesse, Michael, me and Javi in the studio…

From left to right, Jesse Simpson (drums), Michael Valeanu (guitar), Yvonnick Prene (harmonicas), Javi Santiago (piano).

This was taken in the studio in Paramus at the end of the first day. Or and Owen had already left the place. We look quite tired after the session but very happy with the result!

The next step will be the mixing and mastering of the music at System Two  in Brooklyn. Before that I will go back to the studio to record a special guest and add a couple of cool effects on certain tracks …  The album is going to be magic:)

Stay tuned!

Yvonnick

Tribute to NEA Jazz Master Charli Persip, April 30th

I am extremely excited to perform on April 30th at St Peter’s Church with Charles Persip Ensemble. I have been fortunate to study with Charles Persip during my stay at the New School. Not only Mr Persip is an excellent teacher but he has played with the greatest name in jazz.

Here is a program for this special night:

A tribute in honor of this legendary master drummer will be held at 7:30p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2012 at Saint Peter’s Church, corner of Lexington Avenue and 54th Street, New York, New York. Hosted by WBGO’s Rob Crocker, invited guests include musicians Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Roy Haynes, Anthony Nelson, and Kenny Washington; writers Amiri Baraka and Nat Hentoff; and Martin Mueller, Director of the New School jazz program.

Charles Persip was the drummer on Sonny Side Up recorded in 1957. This historic session featured Dizzy Gillespie( trumpet), Sonny Rollins (tenor), Sonny Stitt (tenor), Ray Bryant( piano) and Tommy Bryant (bass).  It is one of the recordings that changed my life along with “Charlie Parker’s Now the Time”, Olivier Ker Ourio’s “Central Park North”, Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”, Jean-Jacques Milteau’s “Live” and John Coltrane “Crescent” among others. I worked for several months on Sonny Stitt’ solo. It is a beautiful swinging piece of art, check it out!

My Debut Album!

I’m happy to announce that on May 21th and 22th I will have the immense pleasure to record my music at Tedesco in Paramus, NJ! The band includes long-time collaborators and friends. I feel lucky and excited to bring to the studio guitarists Michael Valeanu (Fr) and Isaac Darche (USA), pianist Javi Santiago (USA), bassist Or Bareket (Israel) and drummer Jesse Simpson (USA). We’re going to record primarily original music by myself and a couple tunes by artists that influence me such as Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Coltrane.
Stay tuned…In the meantime I hope to see you on May 16th at the SUGAR BAR (254 West 72nd). It’s going to be amazing!

Yvonnick


This is me and Toots Thielemans at the Lincoln Center. This was taken during the NEA Jazz Master Award ceremony in 2009. I encourage you to check out “Affinity” and “Only Trust Your Heart” these are my favorites Toots’albums.

“Artist of the Month Series” Residency at TOMI JAZZ in May

I have been chosen “Artist of the Month” by Tomi Jazz a Japanese restaurant in midtown where I’ll be performing every tuesday in May from 8 to 11pm. The show will feature different guest each week, all terrific musicians who I love to play with. There is no cover charge so you can enjoy my music while drinking sake only for 5 dollars! We ‘ll start on May 1 with my good friend guitarist Michael Valeanu. http://www.tomijazz.com/

TOMI JAZZ 239 East 53rd Street, Lower Level
(Between 2nd – 3rd Avenue) New York, NY 10022
646 – 497 – 1254

Funny

A friend sent me this flyer yesterday on Facebook. I was surprised to recognize a picture of me used as a ”generic harp player” for their background flyer. I must admit the photo is awesome but no one called me to get my permission… Now I guess they have to invite me or some folks in Texas will be disappointed !

Monk Institute Audition

I was the only harmonica player invited to audition for the Thelonious Monk Institute College Program this year. It was an honor and an amazing experiance! I got a chance to play in front of  Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, James Newton and Kenny Burrell.  Moreover it was my first time in LA…After the audition I spent the rest of the night in Venice Beach with a few girls. I ‘ll definetely try to come back there sometimes!

Meeting with L.K

My first jazz records were Now’s the Time by Charlie Parker and The Sound of Surprise, one of the best Konitz’ album of the 1990. Today I found his playing unfailingly joyous, melodic and soulful. I have been enjoying his music since I was 14 years old. Over his rich life Lee Konitz has set an example for younger musicians to trust his intuition and follow his idiosyncratic artistic vision despite external pressure. He is one of the very few who have escaped the dominating influence of Charlie Parker and developed his own style. Despite coming from the bebop area, he always strived to maintain a distinct voice, which bear the influences of Tristano, Young and Armstrong among others. Konitz has played in a variety of musical settings from solo performance such as in Lone-Lee a fine recording made in 1974, to Big band configuration. At 84, his interest for spontaneous improvisation has not declined. He is still trying to contribute to good music and sounds like he is in total command of his alto. Konitz, hip, dreamy tone, surprising phrased are more than ever up to date. Listening to him you feel like an explorer embarking in a trip through virgin terrain.

In 2010, I wrote a Master’s Thesis in French at Sorbonne University on him , entitled “Lee Konitz The Art of Improvisation”, 140 pages. My goal was to point out the evolution of his playing from his collaboration with Tristano to his recent concert at the Birdland in 2009. I transcribed, analyzed and compared multiple versions of “All the Things You Are” which is one of his all time favorites Broadway Standard, taken from different period over the span of 70-years career. One of his most concerned has been with what comes out of the musical situation, what new ideas can be found and what the unexpected nature of the art will bring. I am fascinated with his ability to create fresh new melodies spontaneously. Moreover I am impressed with his strong rhythmic sense and his unique sense of swing. He is definitely one of my musical heroes along Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Tom Harrell and many more.

Then, I had the tremendous opportunity to study with Konitz during the fall 2009. Our lessons took place at his apartment in the Upper West Side.During that short period, I worked hard and hopefully grew consistently. It was an extremely rewarding experience. Those are precious moment when I felt learning both as a musician and as a person. To improve my knowledge of jazz being he asked me to learn what the great solo feels like and then try to rearrange it somehow. I remember spending hours practicing singing and playing “Koko” by Parker, Bud Powell’ “Oblivion” or Young’s masterpiece “She’s Funny That Way”. From that moment I have understood that the fastest and most efficient way to grow is to transcribe and study the example of the masters. He always talked straight with me and encouraged me to gain a wealth of vocabulary and setting ever-higher standards for myself. I am trying to be true to his level of dedication all the time.  He always talked straight with me and really inspired and gave me confidence in my playing. I feel fortunate to be given the privilege to play an unusual instrument that brings a smile to people wherever I am. As a miscellaneous instrument player, I have sometimes felt as an outsider playing an instrument that is not universally accepted. But he always considered me more as a musician than a harmonica player who he regarded as showmen. Konitz is humble, thoughtful, fun, creative and fun and arguably the best teacher I ever had. He is a musician- philosopher. Through him I got to understand and feel how to approach music most sincere way. Since then, stimulated by the greats Toots Thielemans, Stevie Wonder and Gregoire Maret I have strived to develop a new voice on the harmonica that is authentic and original.