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Vincent Peirani - ©ACT / Sylvain Gripoix
Vincent Peirani - ©ACT / Sylvain Gripoix

"What this Nice-born Parisian teases out of his accordion is something the likes of which world has never heard before. The great French accordion tradition, from Galliano to Matinier, shines through, but he takes it further with a new, characteristic expressiveness. It is a future virtuoso that is playing here!" says the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The French accordionist, vocalist and composer Vincent Peirani was born in Nice on 24.4.1980. He started playing the accordion at the age of eleven. One year later he began taking lessons in classical music for clarinet and accordion at the "Conservatoire National de Région" in Nice, and it didn't take long for his gift to start showing.

Between 1994 and 1998, as a teenager, he won numerous international awards and competitions for classical accordion, including the Klingenthaler Accordion Competition (Germany), the award of the accordion festival in Castelfidardo (Italy), the "Trophée Mondial at Cassino" (Italy) and the international "Reinach" accordion competition (Switzerland). The highlight of these accolades was the first place in the competition for classical accordion at the "Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique" in Paris in 1996. These early successes quickly enabled Vincent Peirani to appear at festivals all around Europe (Bayreuth, Salzburg, Vienna, Rome, Stockholm).

At 16 he discovered jazz – in particular the music of Bill Evans and the French jazz-rock band "Sixun" – and in 2001 he began his formal studies of jazz at the "Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique" in Paris. Initially he garnered more scepticism than anything else with his instrument, the accordion, and his classical background, but it didn't take long before he won the critics over with a whole new way of looking at the accordion, and made himself a name in France's jazz scene as well. His big breakthrough was coming first at the "La Défense Jazz Competition" in 2003. This victory opened the doors for him to work with the crème-de-la-crème of the French jazz scene. Peirani then decided to quit his jazz studies to have more time to play, and soon he was working with musicians the calibre of Michel Portal, Daniel Humair, the Renaud Garcia Fons Quintett, Sylvain Luc, Louis Sclavis and Vincent Courtois. His collaborations with especially Michel Portal and Daniel Humair persist to this day.

During this time he has also pursued many of his own projects, drawing from the most varied of genres – from jazz, chanson and world music to classic and on through to heavy rock. Among his biggest projects are the band "Mésolex", the duo with the saxophonist Vincent Lê Quang, the quintett "Living Being" and the collaboration with the French-Indonesian vocalist Serena Fisseau (project: "Sejalan"). He has recorded numerous albums with these line-ups, including "Mésolex" (2008), "Gunung Sebatu" (2009) and "EST" (2010).

Since 2011, Vincent Peirani has played regularly in a quartet fronted by the Korean vocalist Youn Sun Nah. In doing so he made the acquaintance of the Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius and ACT boss Siggi Loch. Peirani played on the Ulf Wakenius record "Vagabond" (ACT 9523-2), which came out in February 2012. A little later the two went on tour together as a duo, and everywhere they played, Vincent Peirani was a sensation.

On the Youn Sun Nah album "Lento" (ACT 9030-2, April 2013) Vincent Peirani appeared as sideman. His ACT debut as leader, "Thrill Box" (ACT 9542-2), was released in May 2013. All his musical experience will flow into this lyrical album, which brings together the diverse sound potentialities of the accordion with the accompaniment of Michael Wollny (piano), Michel Benita (double bass) and Michel Portal and Emile Parisienne as guest soloists.