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Pierre-François Blanchard

Pianist, composer



Photo credit: © Sylvain Gripoix

Born in 1981 in Nantes, Pierre-François Blanchard studied classical piano for ten years, before heading to jazz and improvised music. It was as a jazzman that he started his professional life, playing in festivals and on stages in the West region with his bands (La Belle Vie Trio, Lazuli Quartet, ...). At the same time, he trained at the CNR in Saint-Nazaire and obtained the DEM, then the D.E of Jazz.

In 2004, he was asked to compose and direct the music for "Marat-Sade" and "Dom Juan" within the Théâtre Icare Company, directed by Christophe Rouxel. On this occasion, he developed an interest in theatrical music that he will pursue: he composed the music for “Octavie” with Le Ministère De l'Amour Company, then “L'Autri-Chienne”, “Animitas” and "La Boîte Noire" for the actress Daniela Molina and the Panthéâtre Company.

Jazz pianist keen on free improvisation, he went to study at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 2007. It will be a decisive initiation and a pianistic journey. He studied the instrument with Jasper Soffers, counterpoint with Karst De Jong, and obtained a Master in jazz piano. He created the Azure quartet (2008-2012) which plays in many festivals in Holland, as well as in Latin America. Pierre-François is at the same period finalist of YPF jazz competition (2009) and semi-finalist of Martial Solal Competition (2010).

In 2006 he created the boNObo-trio which collaborated with the Moroccan brotherhood Aïssawa then with Médéric Collignon (album "toGEther" in 2012, label Neuklang). The group was a finalist for the Tremplin Jazz à la Défense in 2012. He also collaborated with the Panthéâtre Company led by Linda Wise and Enrique Pardo. In this international context of creation and vocal and theatrical studies, he taught improvisation and joined as a pianist and composer in several productions. He developed his research around a practice of free improvisation on the piano used as a means of teaching vocal performance.

In 2012, he became the pianist of Pierre Barouh, reviving his taste for singing accompaniment. He is the musical co-director of the 50th anniversary of Saravah at the Trianon in December 2016.

He participated in the Salon Idéal since 2015, a concept imagined by Arièle Butaux, where musicians of all stripes meet to merge, experiment freely and without borders. He collaborated with Thomas Savy, Guillaume de Chassy, ​​Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter, Irina de Baghy, Noëmi Waysfeld, the Zaïde Quartet ... In 2016, he joined Raphaël Imbert on the "Music Is My Home" project, then recorded "Music Is My Hope "(Jazzmag shock) winner" Unclassifiable Album "at the Victoires du jazz 2018.

He has been working for several years alongside the singer Marion Rampal, as a duo, and in the latter's trio - with Anne Paceo-: Main Blue. The eponymous album, released in January 2017 by e-motive records, is praised by critics. In 2019, he recorded a duet with her "Le Secret", with guests Archie Shepp and Raul Barboza. The album, hailed by critics - Télérama, coup de coeur L'Humanité - reveals affinities between romantic melancholy and Blues, combines in an untimely and creative musical gesture two modernities that fertilized the twentieth century.

He regularly accompanies Archie Shepp in his quartet (2017-2020), of the project in tribute to Sydney Bechet in June 2018, and more recently on the project "Art Songs & Spirituals" played Barbican Theater at the London Jazz Festival in November 2018.

Pierre-François regularly returns to the Brussels stage as part of Bossa Flor programming, first as a pianist for Pierre Barouh (2013-2016), then with Marion Rampal since 2017 or pianist in concerts of bossa nova and French songs with Didier Sustrac and Philippe Quevauviller.

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