My Credo

Jazz, Blues, Afro-cuban and Brazilian music, European classical music…all of these are part of my musical identity. They are the most important, but not the only, sources of inspiration that nourish the developement of my musical personality, as a pianist and as a composer. The most diverse musical traditions fascinate me, whether it is classical, folkloric or popular music: Forró from north-eastern Brazil, Mbalax from Senegal, cuban Timba, afro-peruvian music, Latin Jazz from New York or Béla Bartóks compositions, all of these genres connect directly with my musical self and arouses in me the desire to learn more about those musical traditions and eventually to play them. I have a lot of respect for these traditions and for the musicians, who keep them alive, but at the same time I claim the artistic freedom, to find inspiration in those traditions for a new kind of music, a music caracterized by creative curiosity and authentic expressivity.

My musical education began with classical piano lessons, but the basis of my musical culture is jazz. When I was 13 years old, free-jazz pianists Alexander von Schlippenbach and Aki Takase introduced me to this music and since that moment I’ve been crazy about it. During several years I studied intensively the entire history of jazz, in particular those jazz pianists who became major influences in my own playing (McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock among others). My musical personality is deeply rooted in jazz; I consider myself above all a jazz musician, But I understand jazz not only as a particular musical tradition, but also as an artistic attitude, an open spirit looking for creative adventure, a passionnate effort to shape a musical sound that has never been heard before.

The other dimension of my musical identity, namely the affinity to the music of Latinamerica and Africa, unfolded during my studies at the conservatory “Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin. There I experienced for the first time what it feels like to play a tumbao on piano and to become a fitting part of the intricate polyrythmical structure of bass and percussion: it was a true revelation to me. The intensity and joy I felt playing this music motivated me to study afro-cuban music in detail and to learn as much as possible about it. At the same time I realized that the musical language of percussion is a powerful inspiration to me and I decided to develop the percussive aspect of my piano playing (without being negligent of the other aspects of my instrument). This musical affinity is the underpinning of my boundless curiosity for all kinds of groove and folkloric percussion.