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#JazzPortraits - Baptiste Trotignon: sensitivity, elegance and musical travel

  • 30.11.2018

Baptiste Trotignon, a classical pianist by training who became a major jazz talent, is considered a brilliant, creative composer who stands out for his improvisation and exploration skills.

The young musician started studying classical piano at the Nantes Conservatory, where he won the piano and composing awards at the age of 17. Then he moved to Paris, turning to jazz at the National Music and Dance Conservatory. It was the beginning of a very promising career.  

Released in 2000 when he was 26, Fluide, his first album, revealed a new-generation virtuoso. Baptiste Trotignon has won many awards, including the prestigious Prix Django Reinhard from the Académie du Jazz in 2001.

A genuine explorer, he draws inspiration from contact with other cultures before turning them into musical experiences. He has worked with many musicians, and one of his most recent compositions whisk us off to distant places: Chimichurri, a record he made with his friend the Argentine percussionist Minino Garay, is a musical mixture that explores Latin-American beats and afro roots.

Listen to cuts from Chimichurri

Later in 2017, Mr. Trotignon and Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry presented Ancestral Memories, an album celebrating his ancestral roots. The two musicians pay tribute to the diversity of the sounds of the African Diaspora in the United States and former French colonies in the Americas.

Baptiste Trotignon, Yosvany Terry - Ancestral Memories (Making of)

“ Learning has always been the driving force behind my artistic development and I’ve always preferred considering myself an eternal student rather than a demonstrator of I don’t know what temporary truth ”

Baptiste Trotignon


His most recent work, Thousands of Miles, is a tribute to Kurt Weill that he recorded with the American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, which brought them on tour in the United States in autumn 2018. 

The BNP Paribas Foundation has supported Mr. Trotignon’s projects since 2010, proving it knows how to loyally back an artist over the long term.

On Tuesday 4 December he will be accompanied by the Île-de-France National Orchestra at the Cité de la musique-Philharmonie de Paris for his concerto for piano and orchestra L’air de rien. It will be a game of mirrors between jazz and classical, improvised and written music in which the pianist dialogues musically with the orchestra for which he wrote the piece.

Baptiste Trotignon on composing "L’air de rien".

Photos Header ©Helene Pambrun // ©Fabrice Neddam

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