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Dominique Cravic

Guitarist, composer, author, interpret



Photo credit: ©Adrien Quevauviller

Dominique Cravic, born in 1946, a self-taught guitarist attracted by jazz, rhythm and blues, and musette, took his classes with the concert artist Ramon Cueto. He studied classical guitar and obtained a master's degree in musicology at the University of Paris-VIII. 

In the middle of the 80's, he set up the group "Cordes et Lames" with Francis Varis, a bass, drums, accordion and guitar quartet. There they rearranged the repertoire of jazz/swing/musette and proposed original compositions. They have played and recorded with Lee Konitz, Tal Farlow, Steve Lacy, Larry Corryell, Dominique Pifarely and Michel Grallier. Dominique and Didier Roussin around jazz, blues set up the trio "Bluestory" with Olivier Blavet on chromatic harmonica, then Jean-Jacques Milteau, dedicated to pre-war blues.

He is the creator and leader of the group "Les Primitifs du futur", an instrumental and vocal ensemble whose influences range from the 1930s to musette, blues, jazz and biguine. At the beginning, they are five-six: Dominique Cravic, Daniel Huck, Jean-Jacques Milteau, Guy Lefèbvre, Didier Roussin... Then, little by little, the family grew. The idea was born from a meeting with Robert Crumb who was a fan of musette and Auvergne music. Les Primitifs du futur? A family of musicians brought together at the initiative of Dominique Cravic since 1987 with Daniel Colin on accordion, Daniel Huck on scat and saxophones, Jean-Philippe Viret on double bass, Jean-Michel Davis on xylophone, vibraphone, percussion and drums, Fay Lovsky on vocals and musical saw, on theremin and ukulele, Claire Elzière on vocals, Bertrand Auger on saxophones, Raùl Barboza on accordion, Robert Crumb on mandolin, Hervé Legeay on guitar, Mathilde Febrer on violin, Mohammed El Baazi on oud, Khirredine Medjoubi on darbouka, Mieko Miyazaki on Koto,... who meet on stage and on disc. Dominique Cravic and Les Primitifs du Futur have recorded 4 albums "Cocktail d'amour", "Trop de routes, trop de trains", "World musette" and "Tribal musette" (Universal Jazz). They give concerts in the United States, France, Europe and Canada. 

A meeting that marked Dominique Cravic is that of Henri Salvador. It was Jacques Ehrart, a sound engineer (and neighbour), who took him to Place Vendôme and told him: "Take your guitar, we're going to go and see an old singer, it's to make some musical tries with him". Dominique went on to work with Henri Salvador for many years, recording his album "Jardin d'Hiver" with him and accompanying him to his concerts from 2001 to 2005. Other albums followed.
Dominique is a founding member of the Ukulele Club de Paris, a group that relaunched the ukulele wave/fashion in France with Joseph Racaille, Tony Truant, Cyril Lefebvre, Brad Scott, Fay Lovsky, François Ovide and Pierre Sangra. Together they recorded the album "Manuïa" a Universal/Jazz production. As a guitarist, he has accompanied on stage, or during recording sessions, artists of the French chanson scene such as OIivia Ruiz, Georges Moustaki, Pierre Louki, Claire Elzière, Charles Aznavour, Gérard Pierron, Pierre Barouh, Hélène Maurice, Annie Papin...

At the beginning of the 2000s, Dominique Cravic met Pierre Barouh, and the two of them were invited to play concerts together. In 2008, Pierre Barouh was invited to participate in the recording of the album "Tribal musette" by Les Primitifs du Futur. In 2003, Dominique played guitar and ukulele on Claire Elzière's album "la vie va si vite" (Saravah production). 

Since 2007, he is artistic director, guitarist singer for many albums produced by Respect Record, Japanese label of music and songs from the French repertoire: "Claire Elzière chansons d'amour de Paris, vol 1 & vol 2", "Paris Cinéma", "Le voyage de Django", "Gus versus Tony", "Mon cœur est un accordéon", "Rencontre à Paris", "Rendez-vous à Saint-Germain-dès-Prés".... And tours extensively in Japan with Claire Elzière whom he accompanies on guitar, as well as with accordionists Daniel Colin, Raùl Barboza and Christophe Lampidecchia, pianist Grégory Veux, double bassist Laurent Larcher and violinist Mathilde Febrer. 

In 2009, Dominique composed music on unpublished texts by Pierre Louki, he recorded and was the musical director of Claire Elzière's new album "Un original, 13 originaux" (Saravah production). In 2011, for the cinema, Dominique Cravic and Les Primitifs du Futur participated in the music for the film "Hugo Cabret" by Martin Scorcese. 

In 2013, he participated in the music of Daniel Auteuil's "Marius".  The same year, for the animated film, the music composed by Dominique Cravic "C'est la goutte d'or qui fait déborder la valse" illustrated the soundtrack of the animated short film "Goutte d'or" directed by Christophe Peladan.

In 2014, he composed the music for Claire Elzière's next album based on previously unpublished texts written and proposed by Allain Leprest. He was the musical director of the album "Claire Elzière chante Allain Leprest" (Saravah production).

Dominique Cravic also composed music for musical illustration, in particular with Fay Lovsky for Cézame Music Agency. They composed melodies inspired notably by Caribbean music found on the album "Marines" (CEZ 4057/58) or contemporary blues in "American Roadbook" (CEZ 4053/54). He also collaborated in the collection Patrimoine des Productions Frémeaux as artistic director for music from the West Indies, Yiddish, Gypsy, accordion, Brazil and Madagascar, and he directed the collection "Les As du Musette" for the label Paris Jazz Corner.

In 2018, Dominique Cravic composed the music for the film "Trouble" by Catherine Dirand. In December 2019, release of the album "Un an à Paris", an anthology of songs about Paris interpreted by Dominique Cravic and Claire Elzière, songs that illustrate the documentary film "Un an à Paris" directed by Lionel Isy-Schwartz and broadcast in more than 50 cinemas in Quebec.

In September 2020, Dominique Cravic directed the recording of a new album to celebrate the 80th birthday of Daniel Colin, considered in Japan as a living treasure, produced by Respect Record, Japan.

In March-April 2021, Dominique Cravic, accompanied by Mathilde Febrer on violin, Christophe Lampidecchia on accordion, Olivier Moret on double bass and Grégory Veux on piano, will be back on tour in Japan to give 28 concerts in 27 cities, accompanying singer Claire Elzière.

The crossroads with Bossa Flor occurred when Pierre Barouh passed away… At the beginning of January 2017, Dominique took part in a farewell concert at the Théâtre 13 which Philippe Quevauviller attended. He invited Claire and Dominique to continue the appointments to which Pierre had been faithful since 2012, and a concert brought them together, along with Grégory Veux in Brussels in November 2018. The link has been maintained ever since and they will join the Bossa Flor2020-2021 program. He is participating in a recording of a piece of the project « Brassens dans tous ses états » in 2021.

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