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Christian Jacob

Christian Jacob first gained widespread exposure as co-leader, arranger and pianist with the Tierney Sutton Band. While recording eight critically acclaimed CDs with the band Christian also built a substantial career as a solo artist and leader. He has arranged and conducted around the world, performing with big bands, symphonies and even with the King of Thailand.

Born in Lorraine, France, Christian Jacob began playing classical music at age 4 and became immersed in the music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, whose harmonic universe was influential on jazz. "I was 9 or 10 when I discovered jazz," Christian reminisces, "and the very first thing that appealed to me was the harmony, the chords”. “The first time I heard Oscar Peterson, I kept going to the store to order the part, of course I never received it; later, when I learned it was improvised, I couldn't believe it”.

"I've always had perfect pitch, so I was known for hearing anything and knowing the notes. However, my training was not open to improvisation." It was "learn the piece, and then interpret it," he says. "Even at that age they would basically interpret it for you. In retrospect that probably taught me what is the basic musical feel."

Though studying classical music, the young pianist continued to play jazz "as a hobby"; he worked in combos in Lorraine, and began to develop a style. "Dave Brubeck was my first discovery," he has said, "then Oscar Peterson was a different dimension. I could hear his classical technique; his personality was there too. What he says, he means, and you can hear him having so much fun doing it."

After graduating with “First Prize” from the Paris Conservatory Christian took the risk of going to America to study jazz.

It was at Berklee that Christian shed a lot of his classical emphasis and concentrated nearly exclusively on jazz, on learning the art of improvisation and on developing his own personal style.

While at Berklee Christian won a number of awards, including the Oscar Peterson Jazz Masters Award, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition and "Downbeat" magazine's distinction as Top Collegiate Jazz Soloist.

After graduating Christian took a teaching position at Berklee, but gave that up when the opportunity came along to tour with Maynard Ferguson.

“Life on the Road with Maynard was one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. We toured eight months out of the year and performed almost every day. It was exhausting, educational, inspirational and most of all it was fun.”

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“The phenomenal pianist Christian Jacob — created dense, polyrhythmic thickets that overlaid two or more Latin grooves, through which Mr. Jacob's piano solos sprang out and hurtled.” - Stephen Holden (The New York Times)

“Descriptive words such as virtuoso and genius are not words I easily throw around. When I first heard Christian Jacob I knew he was something special... I believe that Christian Jacob is about to become a major force in jazz today!” -Maynard Ferguson

“A post-bop modernist touched by the souls of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett… Pianist Christian Jacob is a wonderful player whose crystalline melodies and expansive harmonies mark him as someone to keep an ear on.” -Jazz Times

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Photos

Concert Schedule

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Duo Collection

Resonant Music
2022

buy

Signature

Rhombus Records
2022

buy

Revelation

Self Produced
2021

buy

The Moon is a Kite

Self Produced
2021

buy

Live in Japan

WilderJazz
2009

buy

Your Heart Is As Black As Night

From: Signature
By Christian Jacob

The Moon is a Kite

From: The Moon is a Kite
By Christian Jacob

Revelation

From: Revelation
By Christian Jacob

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