Gabriel Bismut is a Parisian violinist and violist playing jazz and traditional music (Celtic or Gypsy). After a diploma (DEM) in jazz violin at the Regional Conservatory (CRR) of Boulogne-Billancourt he was in contact with internationally renowned Jazz musicians such as Antonio Ciacca and Carine Bonnefoy. He has also worked with excellent musicians from the French and Parisian scene such as Camille Bertault, Guillaume Latil, Baptiste Ferrandis, Maurizio Congiu, Barthélemy Seyer, Lehna and Helena Recalde and he has recorded with Charlotte Wassy, Josiah Woodson, Mauro repetto, The Big Hustle, and Charlène Delie. In 2016 he created the duo “Les Temps qui Courent” and recorded an album containing his compositions with the pianist Fady Farah. In 2017, he began to collaborate with pianist-accordionist Maurizio Minardi. Initially a duo, the ensemble, purely acoustic, develops into a quartet and after 2 years of work and more than 50 concerts in France and Italy, an album is in preparation under the artistic direction of Marc Berthoumieux. It will be released in May 2020.
Gabriel Bismut has performed more than 300 concerts in France and in Europe. He has performed in festivals such as the Festival de l'Europe, the Maderna Jazz Festival and the Souillac festival and in large concert halls such as the Carré Bellefeuille in Paris (opening to the trio of Shai Maestro). He also teaches violin in 2 music schools in Paris.
Jazz violinist, but why?
I started the violin at the age of 4 and a half. I still remember the magic moment when I discovered for the first time the half-opened violin box, which my parents had placed in the living room for me. With a big brother and a little sister playing the piano, music was omnipresent in my family. Classical music reigned supreme, but often we had fun playing the soundtracks of films we had just seen. I thus learned the piano by myself so that I could replay the music of Ennio Morricone, James Horner, John Williams, and also Prokofiev in the film Alexandre Nevski. This is where my passion for beautiful melodies and for composition came from. As a teenager, I discovered the music of my time, rock bands like Radiohead, metal bands like Metallica, or the blues as Stevie Ray Vaughan played it. I then put the violin aside for 7 long years during which I played the guitar like crazy, much to the chagrin of my parents. However, I realized that the guitar was not my instrument, that it was not an extension of my soul and that with it I would not find my sound. So I took up the violin, having developed from this rock parenthesis the taste for improvisation, which has never left me since.
It is therefore quite naturally that my interest in musical exploration and research oriented me towards jazz, which I discovered thanks to its representatives whose strong melodic sense touched me, like Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli or Keith Jarrett. I then discovered the more abstract and less accessible jazz of Thelonious Monk or the so moving mysticism of John Coltrane. One of the very rare jazz discs in the family CD shelve, a compilation of Art Tatum recordings, made me understand that jazz was an open music in which I could find the same richness and the same harmonic freedom as in the works of the classical composers that I loved the most, like Shostakovich. The door was therefore open for me to immerse myself in this new music universe and its many ambassadors.
It is therefore quite naturally that my interest in musical exploration and research oriented me towards jazz.
Although I have since explored several styles of music, traditional Celtic or Gypsy music, Latin music, African music, which strongly nourish my creativity, jazz remains my reference music, which makes me want to continue to learn new rhythms, new melodies or harmonies. It is for me a universal music, which one can appreciate at any time of his life, in any emotional state, a music whose language is so rich that it encompasses all styles, all by being incredibly consistent. I think that this music helps describing the state of the world and of one's internal world. When I don't know which music to listen to or play, playing or listening to jazz is the best solution for me.