"Virtuoso harmonica player" Downbeat
“A rising Star” Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
"A passionate advocate of the instrument and a dedicated educator" Hot House Jazz
“The most beautiful music I have ever heard on harmonica.” Lee Konitz
“Yvonnick Prene has proven his growing experience in leadership, writing and performing. He is the harmonica of the present and future” JazzTimes
Yvonnick was born in Paris, France on January 19. He began as a guitarist, later switching to the diatonic harmonica, and eventually settling on the chromatic harmonica as his primary instrument. He first began playing the harmonica professionally in Parisian clubs at 17, then started his studies at Sorbonne University, from which he received a master’s degree in music (2011). While still enrolled at the Sorbonne, Prené relocated to New York City and was awarded multiple full-tuition scholarships at The City College of New York, (MICEFA, 2007), Columbia University (Alliance Program, 2008) and at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (Merit-Based Scholarship, 2009) where he had the opportunity to study with Lee Konitz and Reggie Workman among others. In 2012 he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music.
He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Donald Brown, Klingande, Romeo Santos, Peter Bernstein, Scott Tixier, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Vic Juris, Steve Cardenas, Jon Cowherd, Ira Coleman, Thomas Enhco, Luques Curtis, Justin Brown, Donald Edwards, Lorin Cohen, Mike Moreno, Jared Gold, Laurent Cugny, Cyrille Aimée, Alexandre Tassel, Gilad Hekselman, Yaron Herman, Laurent de Wilde, Ryan Cohan, Victor Provost among many others. Yvonnick has played at Blue Note Jazz Club, at the Iridium Jazz Club, at Birdland, at Bern Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Lamentin Jazz Festival (Martinique), Festival Emoi du Jazz (Cote d’Ivoire), Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, at Jazz in Marciac, Jazz on Ubaye, Jazz Sur Seine Festival, at Le Duc des Lombards (France).
I had made a short trip to New York and I arranged a lesson with Yvonnick (he was very responsive and flexible). The day before the lesson Yvonnick had also a gig with a quartet and I were there with my wife. It was impressive.
The one and half hour lesson was an eye opener in the bebop world. Yvonnick showed me the bebop scales, patterns and also some really helpful rhythmic exercises. The lesson motivated me to work on this topic. The next time I travel to NY I will schedule one or two lessons for sure’.
René, Zuerich Switzerland
“Yvonnick’s passion and creativity for music as a way to express yourself is really inspiring. I learned a lot of harmonica, but also much more: bits of music theory, and breathing exercises to help relax, and how to just feel the music – all helpful stuff. Yvonnick works with you at your level, even in a group setting, which is very helpful.”
Neal Sid, Manhattan
“Yvonnick is a great teacher. He is definitely knowledgeable – just listen to him play and check out his compositions and arrangements. His manner during the lessons is very relaxed, down-to-earth and friendly. The chromatic is an exceptionally difficult instrument to learn and he acknowledges this and is very supportive – but he’ll also light a fire under you if he thinks you’re not practicing enough (I need that!). The things I love most about Yvonnick are how genuinely positive he is and, as you get to know him, his work ethic is incredibly inspiring.”
Ed Watters, San Francisco
“Yvonnick is a very talented harmonica player who made me feel like I was playing the blues from our first lesson. His exercises made it fun to practice and the improvements were noticeable from the start.”
David Gyorki, Manhattan
“Yvonnick gives great Skype lessons. Anyone interested in playing jazz chromatic harmonica would surely benefit from Yvonnick’s tutelage. He is a masterful player and a patient and encouraging teacher.”
David Fearwether, Texas
“As an instructor, Yvonnick is very approachable and that helps me get over any anxiety about practicing with him during the lessons, especially when he is so skilled and I am not. I also appreciate his span of knowledge on the instrument; from jazz to blues or even blue grass. I can tell you I am much much better now after his instructions.”
Michael Burns, New Jersey
“Yvonnick ! I would like to thank you for the lessons you have given me over the last year. You are very inspiring. I have learnt many aspects of the art of harmonica playing from you. I would consider you to be one of the best harmonica tutors in New York at the present time. You have helped me get back on track and point me in the right direction. ”
Esther Kim, Manhattan
“Yvonnick’s course was fun, laid back and informative. I find that the lessons have a good structure to them and are easy to follow. The material for home study you provide has been a great help for practice sessions at home. An inspired class and instructor.”
Enrique Estrada, Brooklyn
“I started playing chromatic harmonica about 1 year ago, but never got anywhere and was kind of desperate about it until I met Yvonnick. I started with little knowledge of the harmonica and in a few months I was on the stage for the first time at Cleopatra Needle open stage with some fine jazz musicians. He is a talented teacher and has a passion for what he does”
Emmet Goldberg, Bronx
“Yvonnick is an amazing musician and provides me with inspiration. In a few weeks, I have already learned how to play Beatles’ songs and can play single notes on the harmonica. He is an excellent teacher!”
John Murray, Manhattan