Marc Antoine: A Mediterraneo Life

Cheryl Hughey By

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For me, life in Spain is much slower for the music business and much faster as a family. —Marc Antoine
Life in Madrid can be pretty carefree. You start your evening at about 9:30 p.m. with dinner and finish it off with light drinks at midnight. After heading to the clubs at about 2:30 a.m., you will party all night long . . . unless you are the father of a college student and a thirteen-month-old baby.

Although there may be a wild side for some in Spain, jazz guitarist Marc Antoine admits his time at home is mostly hectic. “For me, life in Spain is much slower for the music business and much faster as a family.” Antoine puts a lot of stock in personal connections. While on tour, he can’t wait to “go back and enjoy the family.” Although he is an only child, his extended family in nearby France is quite extensive. His wife’s family in Spain is “very big and close” as well.

“I think family should be important for everybody. It is our root. We always go back to the roots after we [have] lived a while,” says Antoine reflectively. He later adds, “I’m a very lucky and happy man. Definitely very thankful.”

Antoine enjoys residing in Spain. He feels that there is a “tendency in Spain to live more outside than in your home.” When the weather is nice, you will see people lined around the streets “walking around shopping” and “standing on terraces.” Everyone goes out and enjoys the day. Antoine is captivated by the Mediterranean Sea. In the summer, he loads the family in the car and drives to the beach. “[The] sea has healing powers . . . I love it and I love being in it,” says Antoine.

Antoine has a studio in Spain and always starts the day with practice. Relentless in his pursuit to create new music, he is “already working on a new album.” Antoine jokingly refers to himself as a “walking musician,” since “lots of ideas come around when I’m walking around.”

Having lived in France, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and finally Madrid, Marc Antoine considers himself a world traveler. Speaking English, French and Spanish fluently, Antoine loves the “strong mixture of cultures” in Spain. Amazingly enough, Antoine also understands conversations in Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian languages.

Coming from such a diverse background clearly enables Antoine an advantage in connecting with his audience. Fans are “every kind of people” and he loves being able to share his music with them. The “best compliment” for him is when someone shares how his songs have made a difference in some way.

Antoine compares music to a being like a book: “You tell a story, people go home and read the story and you travel with the story. The book is like music and vice versa.” He feels honored to have been a small part of bringing the fans something special when he performs.

This being in touch with the audience shows clearly in the live setting. Watching Antoine play at a recent concert in St. Louis was an almost mystical experience. As his fingers moved effortlessly across the strings, the crowd was spellbound. Being able to harness the heart of a song and expressively convey emotions through the guitar is Antoine’s best asset.

Antoine’s latest CD, Mediterraneo, provides a jazzy respite amidst saucy vibes of the flamenco guitar. Packed full of romantically enticing rhythms, it is a celebration of the diversity of life. Antoine combines classical flavors with touches of hip-hop and smooth grooves. Special guests include: Luis Conte (percussion), Lulo Perez (trumpet) and Jimmy Haslip (bass). Mediterraneo is his first recording under the Dave Koz label, Rendezvous.

Antoine will be a special guest with the Dave Koz Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour from late November through December 2003. For complete biographical or touring information visit Marc Antoine on the web at www.marcantoine.com .

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