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Francois Moutin - Kavita Shah duo: Bio

Francois Moutin was born in Paris. His early interest in music was encouraged by his parents. At age 5, Francois began studying guitar, then piano by age 11. The acoustic bass became his most lasting passion as a teenager. Also studying mathematics and physics, Francois received a college degree in engineering and earned a doctorate in physics at the age of 24. Then he elected to become a professional musician.

Three years later, as a member of the legendarey Martial Solal's Trio, Francois was recognized as one of the finest young bass players in Europe. At 29, he began co-leading the Quintet Moutin with his twin brother Louis, a top echelon Jazz drummer. This project has evolved into the Moutin Reunion Quartet. With this band, the brothers are touring extensively around Europe and the United States. The third album of the Moutin Reunion Quartet "Something Like Now" (after "Power Tree" and "Red Moon"), was released in September 2005.

When he was still living in Paris, Francois worked non-stop with the greatest musicians of this age : Martial Solal, Michel Portal, Antoine Herve, Daniel Humair, André Ceccarelli, Eric Lelann, Jean-Michel Pilc, Christian Escoude. He has also performed with Peter Erskine, Randy Brecker, Niels Lan Doky, Mino Cinelu, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Toots Thielemans, Didier Lockwood, Larry Schneider, Aldo Romano, James Moody, Terry Lyne Carrington, Richard Galliano, Bernard Lubat, Aaron Scott, George Brown, Sunny Murray, Michel Legrand, Archie Shepp, Claude Nougaro, Trilok Gurtu, Bob Berg, Birelli Lagrene, Wladimir Kosma, Marius Constant, Markus Stockhausen, L'ensemble Inter Contemporain. François has performed in every important European Jazz Festival, and he has toured in over 30 countries around the world.

In November 1997, Francois moved his base to New York where he has found steady work in live performance and studio sessions with the premier artists on the New York Jazz Scene. A partial list of their names reads like the yellow pages of Jazz : Franck Wess, Jimmy Heath, Monty Alexander, Benny Powell, Don Alias, Mike Stern, Lew Soloff, Steve Kuhn, Joe Locke, Billy Hart, Jeff Tain Watts, Victor Lewis, Billy Drummond, Richie Beirach, Dave Liebman, Oliver Lake, Harry Belafonte, Odean Pope, James Hurt, Ari Hoenig, Jean-Michel Pilc, Rick Margitza, Franck Kimbrough, Joel Frahm, Greg Tardy, Gene Jackson, Dave Binney, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Adam Rogers, David Gilmore, Ben Monder, John Hart, Billy Drews, Jamie Haddad, Steve Hass Bob James… Francois has also recorded and performed with Arab Music star Simon Shaheen. He is a familiar presence on the stages of such establishments as Sweet Rhythm, Jazz Standard, Birdland, Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Knitting Factory, Zinc Bar, Jazz Gallery, Tonic, Smoke, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, New York Symphony Space, Museum of Modern Art. François has also appeared in some major Jazz Festivals around the coutry like Newport JVC Jazz Festival, Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in New York, Freihoffer Jazz Festival in Saratoga Spring, Detroit Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Series, or Kansas City Jazz Festival.


As a coleader:

LUCKY PEOPLE –  Moutin Factory Quintet – Plus Loin – 2013

SOUL DANCERS –  Moutin Reunion Quartet – Plus Loin – 2010

SHARP TURNS - Francois & Louis Moutin – Nocturne/Lightyear – 2007

SOMETHING LIKE NOW - Francois & Louis Moutin – Nocturne/Lightyear – 2005

RED MOON – Francois & Louis Moutin – Nocturne/Sunnyside – 2003

POWER TREE – Francois & Louis Moutin – Nocturne/Dreyfus Jazz – 2002

INIT - Andre Ceccarelli, Nguyen Le, Francois Moutin - Polygram – 1993

PARCOURS - Louis & Francois Moutin - Blue Line – 1991


As a Sideman : 

APEX – Rudresh Mahanthappa – Pi Records – 2010 

SKETCHES OF SPAIN – Lew Soloff & Steve Richmond – Sheffield Lab – 2010 

MUSIC – Ronnie Lynn Patterson – Outnote Records – 2010

PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS – Ole Mathisen – Jazzheads Records – 2009

RAY'S WAY – Ray Levier – Origin – 2009 

CHINESE HOROSCOPE – Ole Mathisen – Jazzheads Records – 2008

LIVE AT THE KNICKERBOCKER – Lew Soloff -  – 2007

SONGLINES – Manu Codjia – BeeJazz – 2007

CODEBOOK – Rudresh Mahanthappa – Pi Records – 2006

ROAD MOVIE – Antoine Herve – Nocturne – 2006

BIRDWATCHER – Michel Portal – Universal – 2006

WORLD PASSION – Tigran Hamasyan – 2005

BODY AND SOUL – Frank Wess – M&I Records – 2005

AIR – Lew Soloff – Keystone Corner – 2004 

MOTHER TONGUE – Rudresh Mahanthappa – Pi Records – 2004

CARDINAL POINTS – Jean Michel Pilc – Dreyfus Jazz – 2003

WELCOME HOME - Jean Michel Pilc - Dreyfus Jazz – 2002

BLACK WATER – Rudresh Mahanthappa – Red Giants Records – 2002

SUMMERTIME - Antoine Herve – Nocturne  - 2002

NY- 1 / LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD – Martial Solal – Blue Note Records – 2002 

INVENTION IS YOU - Antoine Herve - Enja – 2001

LIVE AT SWEET BASIL Vol 2 - Jean Michel Pilc - Challenge Record – 1999

LIVE AT SWEET BASIL Vol 1 - Jean-Michel Pilc - Challenge Record – 1999

DARK GROOVES - James Hurt - Blue Note Records -1999

EXPLORATION - Richie Beirach, Steve Davis, F. Moutin - Double Time – 1996

FLUIDE - Antoine Herve - Label Bleu – 1994

ANYWAY - Michel Portal - Label Bleu – 1993

SEQUENCE THMYRIQUE - Trio Machado - Label Bleu – 1992

WHITE KEY - Manuel Rocheman - Nocturne Production - 1991


"A polyglot in more than language alone." - Siddhartha Mitter, The Boston Globe

​"What she's doing is something completely new." - NPR, "All Things Considered"

"Shah's music reflects the insatiably curious mind of an ethnographer, the soul of a poet, and the eye of a painter." - Owen McNally, WNPR

Vocalist and composer Kavita Shah makes work in deep engagement with the jazz tradition, while also addressing and advancing its global sensibilities. A lifelong New Yorker of Indian origin hailed for possessing an "amazing dexterity for musical languages" (NPR), Shah incorporates her ethnographic research on Brazilian, West African, and Indian musical traditions into her original repertoire. She was named Downbeat's Best Graduate Jazz Vocalist in 2012 and won the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award in 2013; her highly-acclaimed 2014 debut album-the internationally-minded project VISIONS (Inner Circle Music/Naïve Records)-was co-produced by guitarist Lionel Loueke. In 2017, her interdisciplinary work "Folk Songs of Naboréa," a contemporary song-cycle for seven voices, was premiered at the Park Avenue Armory and named by Nate Chinen (NPR) as one of the Top 10 Jazz Performances of the year. Shah's second album Interplay, a program of standards and originals in duet with bassist François Moutin – with special appearances by pianist Martial Solal and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, Shah's mentor – is due for release in February 2018 on Dot Time Records.

Raised in Manhattan, Shah traces her commitment to jazz to the childhood influence of uptown saxophonist Patience Higgins, a former neighbor whose band she would later join at hallowed Harlem spots like Minton's and the Lenox Lounge. Trained first as a classical pianist, Shah spent her formative years in the prestigious Young People's Chorus of New York City, absorbing and performing in a vast range of musical idioms. An early and enduring fascination with Spanish literature and Afro-Cuban music helped guide her to major in Latin American Studies at Harvard, where her B.A. honors research on contemporary Afro-Brazilian music and politics, drawing on fieldwork in Salvador da Bahia, won the Kenneth D. Maxwell Prize in Brazilian Studies and the Cultural Agents Thesis Prize. She was also awarded the David McCord Prize for artistic talent. After a brief stint working for The Nation magazine and Human Rights Watch, Shah went on to earn a Master of Music degree in Jazz Voice at Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Theo Bleckmann, Peter Eldridge, Steve Wilson and Jim McNeely. She continues to study voice with Jeanie LoVetri and composition with Nils Vigeland.

From her formal training, Shah draws a keen interest in complex arrangements and adventurous approaches to the voice as an instrument, leading her to collaborate with contemporary composers like Steve Newcomb and Miho Hazama in settings ranging from chamber groups to jazz philharmonic. Just as important to Shah, she grounds her own compositions in the art of the song as passed down through the tradition – not least by Jordan, the great NEA Jazz Master who has been her artistic and professional mentor. Shah's research interests in traditional music practices have taken her to Brazil, Cape Verde, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Turkey, and India, where her work has been supported by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Jerome Foundation, and Asian Cultural Council. Shah credits tradition, as embodied in its elders, for grounding her own personal and artistic identity and her vision of music as not just pursuit of virtuosity, but cultural work.* 

Shah has sung her music at major concert halls, festivals, and clubs on six continents, including such venues as the Kennedy Center, Winter Jazz Fest, BRIC Jazz Fest, Rochester Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Melbourne Jazz Festival, Brisbane Jazz Festival, Perth Jazz Festival, Safaricom Jazz Lounge in Nairobi, Kenya, Art Basel: Miami, Park Avenue Armory, Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Joe's Pub, Iridium, Duc des Lombards, India's National Centre for the Performing Arts, Blue Whale, Vermont Jazz Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rubin Museum, and National Jazz Museum in Harlem. She has worked with such artists as Lionel Loueke, Sheila Jordan, Martial Solal, François Moutin, Greg Osby, Steve Wilson, as well as tabla guru Samir Chatterjee (India), mridangam player Rajna Swaminathan (US/India), percussionist Rogério Boccato (Brazil), electric bassist Alune Wade (Senegal), acoustic guitarist Bau (Cape Verde), Ethio-jazz founder Mulatu Astatke (Ethiopia), and kora master Yacouba Sissoko (Mali).

1 You Go to My Head  
2 La Vie En Rose  
3 Coming Yesterday (feat. Martial Solal)  
4 Bliss  
5 Falling in Love (feat. Sheila Jordan)  
6 Aigue Marine (feat. Martial Solal)  
7 Blah Blah  
8 Utopian Vision  
9 Interplay  
10 The Provider's Gone  
11 Peace (feat. Sheila Jordan)  
COMING YESTERDAY - Francois Moutin & Kavita Shah Duo f. Martial Solal
Reportagem da Televisio de Cabo Verde

Francois Moutin & Kavita Shah - Interplay is an improvisational journey across lyric-driven and wordless pieces alike. Together, Moutin and Shah embrace virtuosity, spontaneity, and lyricism through a repertoire of standards and original music adapted to the unique instrumentation of acoustic bass and voice. The album, recorded at Sear Sound Studios in New York and Le Studio de Meudon in Paris, features 11 tracks ranging from classics like 'dith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" to instrumental songs like Dafnis Prieto's "Blah Blah" to original compositions by Shah and Moutin.

Crossover Media Projects with: Francois Moutin - Kavita Shah duo