Benoît Delbecq

(Updated on 02/13/2014)

Born in 1966, Parisian pianist Benoît Delbecq figures today among the innovators of the international contemporary jazz scene. His reputation and influence have been growing steadily since the early 90’s, and the New York Times recently described him as « an original and unconventional pianist » who « expertly » invents a  « serene » music.

An inspired adventurer, a goldsmith of prepared piano and a visionary poet in the art of electronically recycling his own statements, he actively participates in the new aesthetic breakthroughs of today.

A former student of Mal Waldron, Alan Silva, Muhal Richard Abrams and Steve Coleman among others, Benoît’s international profile took off around 1992 from appearances at Paris’s cutting-edge club « Les Instants Chavirés », in parallel with the founding of Kartet, The Recyclers and the Hask Collective, all of which helped revitalize the Paris creative music scene. Since then Benoît has been touring around the globe.

He performs solo piano and solo electronics, leads or co-leads a number of bands from duos to quintets, and is involved in many multi-disciplinary productions of theater, dance, the visual arts, cinema etc. His music features mesmerizing grooves that shake out flashing, lunar melodies. An invitation to a « voyage into a magic land » (Le Monde).

« Prix de la Sacem » in 1995 (with the collective Kartet), Benoît was awarded the « Prix de la Villa Médicis Hors les Murs in 2001 », and has just received the prestigious fellowship of the Civitella Fundation New York (2009).

“Delbecq figures today among the most inventive musicians on the European scene...Enlightened experimenter of a music decidedly personal in the way it links apparently contradictory influences from the freest improvisation and the ultra-sophisticated constructions of contemporary composers such as Ligeti or Conlon Nancarrow, Delbecq has succeeded in transcending this apparent dispersion in a coherent universe, at once limpid and mysterious, that draws its liberty from a conceptional rigour which has few equals in contemporary music....A music of nocturnal poetry, apparently fluid and deceptively slack, all minute shimmerings and the play of braided textures, controls the flows and effects of superimpositions (of intensity, speeds, materials) — something on the order of inspiration. ”
—Stéphane Ollivier, Les Inrockuptibles-2000.