“Grégory always puts great spirit into the music. He is a real performer. As soon as I started listening to the album, I got carried away and did not want it to stop.” (Lars Danielsson)
The musical tradition of his native Martinique is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the defining strands in the musical DNA of pianist Grégory Privat, who was born there in 1984. The earliest musical influence on Grégory Privat was his father, a pianist and a member of one of the best-known Martinican bands, “Malavoi.” He was already encouraging the young Grégory to take piano lessons from the age of six. After ten years of classical piano training, Privat fils started composing and improvising: jazz became his musical home territory. For the next stage of his playing, it was a steep learning curve of sessions and gigs in Toulouse, the French city to which Privat had moved in order to pursue studies to qualify as an engineer. That experience garnered in Toulouse served him well when he moved to Paris, where his name started to become known on the jazz scene. The French capital‘s jazz life is vibrant and relatively open to different styles. At 27, Privat took the plunge, abandoned his well-paid office job for good, and finally began to concentrate solely on music. Before long he was playing with the most illustrious of the musicians originally from Guadeloupe such as the saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, the trumpeter and Miles Davis devotee Franck Nicolas and the master of Gwoka, the percussionist and drummer Sonny Troupé, who was to become his musical companion and close friend. Privat also worked with some of the key figures on the European scene, such as Stéphane Belmondo, Rémi Vignolo and a musician currently making major breakthroughs with his highly individualistic style of jazz-rock, Guillaume Perret.
Privat also recently joined the Liberetto Ensemble, which is run by his Swedish ACT label-mate, the world class bassist Lars Danielsson. Beyond the France, Privat has made the most impact until now with his 2013 project “Tales of Cyparis.”
“All the elements of Caribbean music are present in me,” says Privat. “They find their way intuitively and naturally into my music. But I always try to go somewhere else, to discover new styles each and every day. It is a great privilege to meet musicians from other cultures. I’m really grateful that I am able to gather together such amazing experiences. My aim is to find a voice of my own which brings something new into the music. I want to be surprised myself by what I do. I want to create music capable of making the world a more magical place.”