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François Carrier

Alto saxophonist and improviser François Carrier is definitely going his own way. Carrier singular vision has led him to maintain a wide recorded presence all over the world. His rich, deep playing that blends lyricism with boldness and a sense of surpassing one’s self has earned him a place in the Annual International Critic’s Poll of El Intruso of El Intruso 2018, 2017 as well as 2015 and in the DownBeat’s 2013 Best Alto Sax Players List.

In 2001 he won a Juno Award in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category for his third album Compassion (Naxos Jazz).

To date, François combines an impressive discography of over 35 internationally acclaimed albums with legendary musicians such as Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Bobo Stenson, Tomasz Stanko, Uri Caine, Jason Moran, Dewey Redman, Mat Maneri, Sonny Greenwich, Jean-Jacques Avenel, John Edwards, Steve Beresford, Rafal Mazur, etc. Drummer Michel Lambert has been his most faithful collaborator. Together, Michel and François undertook several tours in Europe, Asia and Canada.

His six-month residencies in Rome 2002 and London 2011 allowed him to pursue research and exploration work as a saxophonist composer and he also created bonds with musical circles. Among other things, he composed his Free Opera and organised a good number of recording sessions with several European musicians.

In 2005 he was spotted by British label Leo Records with whom he released five unique albums. Several European avant-garde music labels then join the party such as Creative Sources (Portugal), Ayler Records (Sweden-France), FMR Records (England), Not Two Records (Poland). Following the major international media coverage, the demands keep multiplying.

His recent albums “Elements” and “WIDE” on FMR Records, and NIRGUNA on the Polish label Fundacja Słuchaj have been the subject of several rave reviews.

A new CD titled JAPAN SUITE recorded Live in Japan on December 7, 2019 with Masayo Koketsu, Daisuke Fuwa and Itani Takashi was recently released on NoBusiness Records. A Japanese and European tour is due in 2021. Francois’ Trio will participate in the Jazzahead of Bremen in Germany on April 29, 2021.

Let’s see what the future holds!


- El Intruso International Critic’s Poll, Best Alto Saxophone (2018) - El Intruso International Critic’s Poll, Best Alto Saxophone (2017) - El Intruso International Critic’s Poll, Best Alto Saxophone (2015) - DOWNBEAT Readers’ Poll, Best Alto Saxophone (2013) - Album « Compassion » Gagnant du Juno Award / Catégorie Jazz contemporain (2001) - Album « Intuition » - En nomination à l’ADISQ / Album jazz de l’année (1998) - Nomination au Gala des Prix d’Excellence des Arts et de la Culture de Québec (1996)


Multiple Reviews
Album Review
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Citations/press quotes _______________________________________

« – The music is exploratory and continuously evolving as it proceeds, successfully accomplishing its purpose » Music and More⎪USA⎪March 09, 2020

« – they’re demonstrating an innovative point of view, masterful virtuosity, splendid playing technique and exclusive musical language. This album is another one great example of collaboration between four impressive jazz masters. » AvantScena⎪USA⎪August 28, 2019

« The elements exposed throughout are high quality musicianship coupled with limitless inspiration. » Ken Waxman⎪JazzWord⎪August 23, 2019

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto



Willing to teach

Advanced only


Free Melodic Improvisation

Clinic/Workshop Information

Workshop / Conference The Zen in the Art of Improvisation



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Fundacja Sluchaj



Fundacja Sluchaj



FMR Records



FMR Records


Japan Suite

NoBusiness Records



FMR Records


Himalayan Beauty

From: Kathmandu
By François Carrier



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