top of page

Philippe Quevauviller

Musical production, edition, singer



Photo credit: ©Alain Dereymaeker

Born in 1959, Philippe Quevauviller is from the Bordeaux region where his childhood was rocked by the sound of jazz played by his father on the piano, aeronautical engineer and jazz pianist in his spare time. He grew up with jazz standards mainly from Bud Powell and listening to paternal vinyl collection covering bebop and jazzy singers of the 50s and 60s including Boris Vian, Michel Legrand .... A little later comes the shock from bossa nova by Getz & Gilberto's vinyl brought back by his father from the United States, he is ten years old and he is falling into the pot of Brazilian music that has accompanied him ever since.

Without consciously wanting to follow the pianistic traces of his father, inaccessible in its improvisations which inspires him without understanding them, He takes classical piano lessons with music theory basics, but without enthusiasm, he wants something else, and a booklet of scores by Scott Joplin brings him into the world of the piano .... there is also singing songs, from Georges Brassens of course, Henri Salvador too, but especially Georges Moustaki and Maxime Le Forestier, and later Serge Reggiani, Jacques Brel, Michel Fugain, and all the leading groups of the 1970s and 80s, from the Beatles, Elton John to Carlos Santana via Neil Young and other influences, which made him abandon the piano for the guitar, learned in picking with the revolutionary tablatures of a man named Marcel Dadi. From there, his musical path is made by the guitar. In this beginning of the path, there are the texts of Pierre Barouh and the music of Francis Lai from the soundtrack of the film A man and a woman, and a booklet of scores offered to him for a birthday, containing Jobim standards and the song Samba Saravah .... already an approach to this bridge between the French-speaking world and the Brazilian song repertoire, which marked it until today and which will result in the Bossa Flor project many years later. And as the contamination of jazz remains anchored in its fibers, it starts on bass at the request of his father, and they play in trio with his younger brother, drummer in his spare time.

He studied geology and then oceanology in Bordeaux, then left for Lisbon in scientific cooperation at the age of 25. His father, meanwhile, has rediscovered the pleasure to play in a group, and has formed a quintet which has become the Jazza muffins with which he plays from time to time on his return from Portugal. In Lisbon, beyond his doctoral studies, he fell into another pot, that of fado which he discovered in Bairro Alto, with among the fadists, Amália Rodrigues' own nephew. Learning Portuguese opened him up to the world of Vinicius de Moraes, whose texts he only sang in phonetics until then. He became friends with Nelinho, a Métis from Mozambique, a guitarist and singer of bossa and samba at night in a small pub in Bairro Alto, and a civil servant by day.

He goes back to the benches of his Bordeaux oceanographic institute, with the joyful surprise to discover there an aréopage of Brazilian students, finally freed from the Brazilian dictatorship ended in 1984. He builds solid friendships and gains an immersion in the rich Brazilian music’s repertoire. However, it was not the musical career that opened his doors to him, holder of two doctorates, he was first a researcher in oceanography in Portugal, then in environmental chemistry in the Netherlands. He moved to Brussels in 1989 where he pursued a career as head of European research programs in the field of the environment, while keeping academic activities at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) as a professor in an international masters dealing with water management. He participated in numerous conferences / seminars, and published numerous scientific papers and books. In addition to his professional activities, he is a judoka and genealogist. Music survived as a solo leisure activity during a parenthesis of ten years during which he founded a family. In the early 2000s, the little miracle of Chambre avec vue, with Henri Salvador back on stage and singing Jardin d'été, made him dust off his guitar and resume singing amidst the babbling of his children.

In 2007, a dinner with friends gave birth to what quickly became an amateur quintet of jazz and bossa nova (Jobim standards and songs by Henri Salvador), the BosSalvador, in which he sang and played the guitar, accompanied by Anthony More (piano), Dyanne Bennink (saxophone, flute), Christophe Vaassen (bass) and Jacques Gillet (drums), soon joined by Miguel Uribe (percussion). He built an experience in musical performing and organizing concerts, and from 2011, he contacts a network of musicians from the Brussels sphere, some of whom of international fame, and organizes events in various Brussels halls. He formed a new quintet in 2012, a very jazzy formula that he did not pursue. His meeting with the Barros brothers (Fernando on guitar, Welllington on piano) on the same day as Pierre Barouh's first visit (October 2012), brought him back to the sources of bossa with a new sound, he then devoted himself only to vocals, and formed the Bossa Flor Sextet by inviting Berny Hoste (trumpet), Marat Araujo (bass) and Jacques Gillet (drums) to join him.

He developed multicultural programming with a charity character from 2014 in partnership with the association Arte N'Ativa (whose mission is to promote cultural exchanges with Brazil). It also partnered with the Afiliatys association and BossaMag (Emmanuel de Ryckel) for the promotion and support of concerts. It was thanks to Emmanuel that he had met an heir to João Gilberto, Paulo Costa, in 2009 and Pierre Barouh in 2011. The Âmes Latines Festival (2014) seeked to bring together the driving forces of Brazilian music in Brussels, the next year, the Arts en Scène et en Saisons Festival organized a dozen concerts highlighting various "Latin" countries around musical tales, concerts, theatre plays and dance. The Bossa Flor Sextet was redesigned with the Barros brothers, Marat Araujo and new musicians with Jacques Martinez (saxophone, flute) and Toni Reina (drums).

2016 is a pivotal year during which he founded the Non-Profit Association (ASBL) BOSSA FLOR which now manages the dynamics of the events he organizes. He refocused his activity around the bridges between the French-speaking world and bossa nova, and an album project was born, including recordings by Pierre Barouh made in March 2016, the last of this great artist, too soon disappeared in December of the same year. The album "Rencontres en bossa - De Jobim à Barouh" was released in March 2018. Called by other projects, Jacques Martinez and Toni Reina left Bossa Flor who was joined by Claudio Rocha (saxophone, flute) and Marcos Della Rocha (drums). The same year, he created the Bossa Flor Music Label and Bossa Flor Éditions, covered by the ASBL statutes. He wrote three books published by the association in 2018 and 2019, and a 4-track EP "Feminino" was produced the same year with the Sextet Bossa Flor and two female voices, Ana Rocha and Amalia Baraona.

Gatherings via the network of contacts opened by Pierre Barouh allowed him to build new and splendid connections, with Pierre-François Blanchard first, then Didier Sustrac, Eric Guilleton and Emmanuel Donzella. He also developed collaborations with Brazilian guitarists like Vitor Garbelotto, Luiz de Aquino, Mario Bakuna and the cavaquinist Osman Martins. The Bossa Flor program aligned with the agendas of the cultural seasons (from September to June) and opened with sharings that represent his vision of the links between Brazilian music, fado, French song and jazz. In this movement, he created the Pataphysique Orchestra, with Bruno Desart (guitar), Anthony More (piano), Jacques Martinez (saxophone), Berny Hoste (trumpet), Jack Gillet (drums) and Christophe Vaassen (bass), which allows him to return to the sources of his influences of French songs with a jazzy touch. These links, which might seem improbable, illustrate in fact his musical and poetic journey, that of jazz, of the French song repertoire, of bossa nova, and of fado, itself echoing the songs of the troubadours and therefore its occitan roots.

bottom of page