Jean-Pierre Catoul

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Jean-Pierre Catoul is one of the few modern violinists to merge jazz together with rock music. First picking up the instrument at the age of six (and learning music theory shortly thereafter), Catoul…
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Jean-Pierre Catoul is one of the few modern violinists to merge jazz together with rock music. First picking up the instrument at the age of six (and learning music theory shortly thereafter), Catoul played in a variety of bands during the '80s (jazz, rock, and even big bands), but it wasn't until 1987 that Catoul fully began to realize his potential on his instrument, as he studied with respected French violinist Didier Lockwood. In 1989, Catoul was the recipient of a Saxe award from the Jazz Academy, as "the best young hopeful of the year," and lent his violin talents to a TV program on the Queen Elisabeth Competition, playing alongside some of the greatest classical virtuosos of modern times.

In 1990, Catoul met one of the violin's all-time greats, Stéphane Grappelli, who invited the up and coming violinist to join him at numerous concerts and festivals. The ensuing decade proved to be a busy and fruitful one, as he was the subject of a TV program entitled J-P Catoul, a Violin for Everywhere, he took part in a concert All the Violins of the World organized by Sir Yehudi Menuhin, playing at the Cirque Royal in Brussels alongside Grappelli and L. Subramaniam. In the mid-'90s, Catoul formed bands with Breton accordionist Gwenaël Micault, with pianist Charles Loos, and he joined the band One Shot, which included such other notables as Charlie Mariano, Yvan Paduart, Nathalie Loriers, Peter Hertmans, Stefan Lievestro, and Hans VanOosterhout. Catoul also found the time to write and direct the symphonic arrangements for European concerts by rock legends Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (ex-Led Zeppelin), then supporting their hit No Quarter album, and in 2001, joined forces with pianist Pirly Zurstrassen, for the album Septimana.