Ivon Karel De Bie was born August 13, 1914 in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Brussels, Belgium. He received piano lessons from the age of six for ten years and around 1936 he began working as an amateur with Jimmy Turner, George Clais and with the Blue Blythe Players.
From 1938 onwards he directed his own bands as well as playing and recording beginning in the Forties in the groups of Fud Candrix, Jeff De Boeck and his metro band. In 1942 Ivon recorded his debut with a quartet with Andre Mersch, Gene Kempf and Jeff De Boeck on the Metrophone label. That same year he accompanied Django Reinhardt on a session for the Belgian label Rhythme, recording Vous et moi, Distraction, Blues en Mineur and Studio 24.
He went on to continue recording with Candrix in Berlin, with Hubert Rostaing in Brussels and with members of the Stanbrender Orchestra for the Olympia label. After the World War II De Bie directed a big band recordings for Decca Records, and also played with Robert De Kers.
From the 1950s, Ivon directed the orchestra recordings of the Middelkerke Casino played in bands led by David Bee, as well as with Brother Powell and His Dixie Rag-a-Jazz Band and The Original Syncopators Gang. In 1957 he became the artistic director of the Belgian department of RCA Victor and his last recordings were made in 1983 with the BRT Jazzorkest OLV under the direction of Etienne Verschueren.
Over the course of his career in the field of jazz he was involved in 41 recording sessions between 1941 and 1983. He wrote a series of jazz compositions such as Dixie Souvenir, partly under the pseudonym Don Bayo. His piano style was influenced by Billy Kyle, Bob Zurke, Earl Hines and Art Tatum. Pianist, composer and bandleader Ivon De Bie passed away in 1989 in Brussels.
More Posts: piano
Etienne Bouyer was born on March 18, 1982 in Saint-Denis on the island of Reunion and took violin lessons from age four to 11, opting to play the saxophone. In 1995 he played tenor saxophone in the big band of the Conservatoire d’Antibes and joined the Nice CNR in 1997, where he studied classical saxophone and contemporary music.
1999 saw Etienne gaining admittance to the Baccalauréat Général in Paris, France to study in the American School of Modern Music. For the next five years he studied saxophone, harmony, arrangement and composition, writing for big band and string quartet. Leading an active professional life while studying, he plays in numerous bands and orchestras of all styles including big band, salsa, gypsy and co-founded La Brocante, recording and performing in concert in France and Morocco.
In 2004 he joined the Didier Lockwood Music Center and where he studied with a host of musicians like André Villéger, Pierrick Pedron and Stéphane Guillaume among others. During this period Bouyer met many other musicians with whom he works regularly, taking part in the electro-jazz project Blözar and forming his quartet, the Etienne Bouyer Group with Pierre Antoine, Martin Berauer and Alexis Sébileau.
Following graduation he began teaching, studying privately in New York City with Dave Liebman and Sam Newsome, taking a week-long master class with Charlie Haden and began working with the Belgian violinist Cécile Broché, that led to recordings. He returned to Europe to study in Paris and Brussels, taking master classes with Bob Mintzer, François Jeanneau and creating the Collective Of Active Composing. Etienne has been a member of the Yuval Amihai Ensemble that won the Jazz Festival Tremplin in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.He has performed with Avishai Cohen, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Bojan Z, Kyle Eastwood and Manu Katché.
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Etienne Bouyer teaches at the Conservatory of Music and Dance of Châtenay-Malabry and the Conservatoire with Regional Radiation of Amiens Métropole. He currently Is the coordinator of the Jazz & Current Music Department at the Amiens Metropole Regional Conservatory and continues to perform, record and compose.
More Posts: saxophone
Gary Potter was born on November 15, 1965, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Taking up guitar in his youth, he was playing in country music bands at the age of 12. He had a spell in the USA, drawing approving attention in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Drawing inspiration from early rock ‘n’ roll before becoming interested in jazz, Gary especially admired and influenced by the playing of Django Reinhardt. He has had numerous outspoken admirers of his playing including fellow guitarists Chet Atkins and George Harrison.
By the early 1990s, Potter became best known for his jazz work and in 1994 came second in the guitar section of the British Jazz Awards. He also appeared in the television documentary, The Django Legacy, worked with guitarist Nils Solberg, bass player Andy Crowdy and violinist Christian Garrick. In addition to performing, guitarist Gary Potter composes, arranges and records, while also teaching internationally.
More Posts: guitar
Jan Jankeje was born January Jankeje on July 30, 1950 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia and studied and played the bass since childhood. He emigrated to Germany in 1968 and has since lived in the Stuttgart area.
He has worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Eugen Cicero, Al Casey, Benny Waters, Attila Zoller, George Wein, Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Horst Jankowski, Oscar Klein and Jaco Pastorius among others. He has toured with Dieter Bihlmaier and with Hans-Jürgen Bock Ragtime Specht Groove.
He founded his own record company Jazz Point Records with his wife Gerti Jankejova and has recorded as a leader as well as Biréli Lagrènes , with whom he worked eight years from 1979. He also worked as a studio musician recording live recordings with Jaco Pastorius.
With Bernd Marquart he founded in 1988 the Jazz Jokers, debuting the same year with a CD, international touring and festivals. He also played gypsy jazz with Wedeli Köhler, Diz Dizley and Manno Guttenberger. He wrote the song First Tango for Jeanne Moreau in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s last film Querelle. Bassist, composer, producer and bandleader Jan Jankeje continues to perform, record and tour.
More Posts: bass
Brian Torff was born on March 16, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. He began his professional career in 1974 when bassist Milt Hinton offered him the opportunity of touring with Cleo Laine. During the late 70’s, he recorded and performed with pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, and toured Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong with the jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. He played in pianist Erroll Garner’s last group and worked in the big bands of Oliver Nelson, and The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra.
In 1979, Brian joined pianist George Shearing in a duo setting and for 3.5 years they toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and South Africa. They received worldwide acclaim and were played The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show, had their own PBS special from the Cafe Carlyle in New York City and performed for President Reagan at the White House.
Torff has composed works for four albums as a leader, with George Shearing and Larry Coryell, has composed scores for the Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and has appeared as conductor, composer, and clinician for numerous high school and college jazz festivals. He penned the book In Love With Voices: A Jazz Memoir chronicles his early musical roots and provides portraits of musicians he has worked with, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Erroll Garner, Benny Goodman, Mary Lou Williams, Marian McPartland, Stephane Grappelli, and George Shearing.
He is a professor of music and the director of the music program at Fairfield University in Connecticut, makes frequent appearances at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, and lead the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble along with guest jazz artists. Brian leads his own trio, and is the musical director for the Django Reinhardt New York Festival, has played Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Birdland and Carnegie Hall. He has with Mark O’Connor, Dave Grusin, Regina Carter, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Pinchas Zukerman. He continues to perform at jazz festivals and workshops around the United States.
More Posts: bass