—• lionelBoccara.com
b e f o r e  telling you about my musical career I should like to thank my father, who, though now no longer with us, succeeded in leaving me with his love of music. I started playing the classic piano at the age of 6. Then at 13 I took up other kinds of music such as Rock, Brazilian music, and Jazz. My father, a clarinettist and keen player of classical music and Jazz, often invited friends round for sessions for hours at a time to play classics by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington etc. My enthusiasm for this music grew stronger and stronger with each of these warm and celebratory gatherings. At 15 I started taking percussion lessons under the guidance of Jean Claude Tavernier, then percussionist in the Paris Orchestre National. Next I decided to take part in the jazz workshops directed by the trumpet player Roger Guérin.

Once I was 19 I started playing professionally in various formations. In this way I played along side Boris Blanchet, Vincent Artaud, Pierrick Pédron, Vincent Mascar, Gus Nemeth.....

During this period I was lucky enough to become acquainted with musicians from other cultures. A tour in Morocco enabled me to play with the Gnawas of Essaouira. At the time I played in Mehdi Bennani’s group, and as time went by we developed a fruitful artistic relationship.
Then I decided to study Indian music for four years, learning the language of the tablas with my Master Anand Kumar.

A few years later meeting the Hungarian pianist Emil Spanyi enabled me to play regularly in various venues and to perfect quite an extensive repertory of Jazz classics. We then decided to play in the group of the American Singer Ben Harrison for whom my affection knows no bounds!!

In 1997, during a stay in Japan I was invited to various "jam sessions" which led to my meeting a great pianist of the Tokyo scene, Yutaka Shiina pianist of Elvin Jones (Jazz Machine-European tour 95).

After several tours in Japan I decided to organise concerts in Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, France, etc..). Music strengthened my ties to Yutaka Shiina and I thank him for his generosity. Through his experience he was able to give the best of himself, always with the single aim of satisfying his public.!!

As time passes my experience becomes more fruitful; meeting people matters most to me – that’s where my inspiration comes from and it’s through our differences that I develop.

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lionel boccara plays on drums