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André Ceccarelli


Jazz drummer

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Biography

One of the most famous drummers in the world With the release of his solo albums, Ceccarelli in 1978 and Andre Ceccarelli in 1981, André Ceccarelli became one of European jazz's most promising young musicians. Joined by top-ranked jazz and progressive players, including Didier Lockwood, Jannick Top, Christian Escoude, and Francois Jeanneau, and vocalist Alex Ligertwood of the Brian Auger Band and Santana fame, Ceccarelli set the pace for a pair of memorable recordings. Ceccarelli's later work came as a sideman for Sting and Bireli Lagrene. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

When he was 15, André Ceccarelli was employed with several other musicians to entertain guests at the end-of-week tea dances in the ballroom at the Hôtel Le Royal, Nice on the Promenade des Anglais. It was here that he was spotted by a headhunter who just happened to be Jean Tosan's wife. He was then introduced to Jean-Claude and Gérard Roboly. The brothers, along with André's father, encouraged him to try out with Les Chats Sauvages, a French rock band who had been searching for a new drummer. So in 1962, at the tender age of 16, he started out on his long professional career.

Nearly two years later, after several tours and 6 EPs/1 LP recorded, he left Les Chats Sauvages in February 1964 to take up the position of drummer with the "Casino du Sporting Club de Monaco" orchestra, a position that his father had earlier filled when Aimé Barelli was the conductor.

Although he performed with a whole host of variety entertainers, in particular Claude François, in studio and live, he had his sights set on jazz, his dream. He was given the opportunity to play alongside many of the big names, and at the same time, he became a very busy studio musician.

At the end of the 1960s, he joined trumpeter/arranger, Ivan Jullien, to record the album Synthesis (1978). He also played in the short-lived group, Troc (1972), with Jannick Top and Alex Ligertwood, and recorded on two jazz fusion albums, one between 1972 and 1973 for the Bingow label, and the other for the Carla label in 1977 (with former members of Troc).

In 1974, he played in Jean-Claude Naude's orchestra and contributed to the album, A New Kind of Band. In 1979, he made a career move to the US, alongside Bunny Brunel and Chick Corea. In 1987, his meeting Dee Dee Bridgewater led to a long, fruitful collaboration.

In 2000 he founded Trio Sud with Sylvain Luc and Jean-Marc Jafet. Since the 1990s he has recorded albums as band leader. In November 2011 he reformed Troc with Jannick Top (bass), Alex Ligertwood (vocals), Éric Legnini (keyboard) and Claude Engel (guitar).

André Ceccarelli is the official patron for the Festival Jazz à Toute Heure, which began in 1998 at Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse. He always plays as part of a trio on the first night. He was also special guest at the Nice Jazz Festival in 2013.