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#JazzPortraits: Thomas Enhco, the pianist with two loves
The path of a unique musician
Thomas Enhco is one of those musicians who combines the rigour of classical music with the freedom of jazz. The flawlessly skilled pianist has already made 7 albums. He has composed music for the Pau Orchestra, the Spirito chorus, harpist Lise de la Salle, the Local Brass Quintet and France Inter. Thomas has played with famous jazz musicians including Baptiste Trotignon, Emile Parisien, Dan Tepfer, Ibrahim Maalouf, Anne Paceo and his brother David Enhco, classical musicians Henri Demarquette, Renaud Capuçon and Natalie Dessay, and pop singers like Jane Birkin, Christophe and Oxmo Puccino.
"Thirty": keeping your childhood soul while growing up
At only 30 years old, Thomas is a model of musical versatility. For his new album, he was nurtured by his two loves.
The first: jazz, including original compositions and solo piano improvisations based on Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice and Gainsbourg’s La Javanaise. The album is dedicated to his stepfather, virtuoso violinist Didier Lockwood, to whom he pays homage in the first piece, Joue pour les anges. The lyrics refer to his mentor’s words: “Play for the angels, Tom, who cares about the notes, forget what you’ve learned. Play for the angels.” The notes on this album tell the story of Thomas’s emotions and experiences. The upbeat, sometimes-nostalgic Turning Thirty expresses his desire to keep his childhood soul while growing up. In Looking Back, he contemplates a cherished past with tenderness and melancholy. Owl and Tiger and Prelude (of Wind and Water) complete the first part of the album.
The second: classical music, features his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, recorded with the 16 string musicians of the Ensemble Appassionato led by Mathieu Herzog. In these three titles the piano mixes with the group, sometimes reminiscent of a film score and displaying great improvisational skill.
“The first movement evokes adventure, discovery and the raw, spontaneous energy of childhood. The second represents pure love and the promises and questions of adolescence. The third symbolises the loss of idealism, the destruction of the past and the quest for rebirth.” Interview with Thomas Enhco for France Musique.
The encounter between these 2 loves led to an explosive duo with Vassilena Serafimova
Since their first encounter 10 years ago, the pianist Thomas Enhco and the marimba player Vassilena Serafimova have formed an unusual duo oscillating between classical music and jazz. Their alchemy re-enchants Mozart’s sonatas. They rigorously but refreshingly cover a repertory ranging from Jean-Sebastien Bach to Chick Corea, to Astor Piazzolla as well as Thomas Enhco’s own pieces.
In 2016, this uncommon combination of instruments resulted in the critically acclaimed Funambule, which toured the world.
“Being a musician means first and foremost expressing feelings and having fun like children do. I enjoy experimenting and inviting listeners to visit new territories of sounds and music.” Interview with Thomas Enhco for France Musique
Being a musician means first and foremost expressing feelings and having fun like children do.
- Listen to Thomas Enhco and Vassilena Serafimova on the BNP Paribas Foundation’s All That Jazz playlist (unavailable link).
Photos ©Sylvain Gripoix
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