36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022

Vincent Courtois


Vincent Courtois - cello, electronics

One can hardly ever hear solo cello on jazz stage. Vincent Courtois is one of a few jazz cello maîtres in the world. He has made his first solo appearance in 1995, however he released his first solo recording in 1990. Solo albums make up a considerable part of his discography amounting to almost 30 CDs

“A recording studio is a place like no other: the mysterious musical roads unwind and come alive – as if they were a travel plan”, admits the musician.

He will introduce Vilnius Jazz audience to the music from his solo album, titled West (released on La Buissonne). The cellist compares this music to monumental landscapes one can travel on intimate routes, thanks to mysterious hidden maps.

“West is a journey elsewhere, towards the unknown, and a promise of great discoveries”, Courtois adds. According to the cellist, he has chosen to exile voluntarily, to retreat within himself in order to create great new horizons for his audience.

Vincent Courtois began playing the cello when he was six years old. He took classical studies at the conservatoire in Aubervilliers and Paris. In the 80’, he discovered jazz and improvisation while playing with Didier Levallet, Dominique Pifarely and Christian Escoudé.

In 1990, the cellist formed his own quartet. Later he also joined Pendulum Quartet, Turkish Blend and Zebra 3, played in François Corneloup Septet, various trios as well as in several Rabih Abou-Khalil’s bands. He regularly collaborated with clarinettist Louis Sclavis, trombonist Yves Robert, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and saxophonist Michel Portal.

In 2006, he initiated a new jazz quartet with Jeanne Lagt, Marc Baron and François Merville, in 2010 – a new band WAT.

A classical training endowed the cello virtuoso with precision, instrumental control and impeccable technique. His playing embraces freedom and precision, attention to the minutest detail.

Courtois is more than a wonderful cellist. He does not limit himself to jazz. He composed the original score for Ernest and Célestine, a César winning and Academy Award nominated animation movie, together with Henri Texiers he recorded the music to the movie Holy Lola by Bertrand Tavernier, collaborated with writers and photographers.

He shared jazz scene with a number of luminaries including Pierre Favre, Jim Black, Tomas Stanko, Dave Douglas, Joachim Kuhn, Dave Holland, Michel Petrucciani, Gérard Marais, Rita Mitsuko, John Greaves, Marilyn Crispell, Joëlle Léandre, Gerald Cleaver, Ikue Mori and many other great musicians.

In 2010, he was made a Chevalier of the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Ministry of Culture.

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