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Richard Galliano: Bio

Accordionist Richard Galliano did for European folk -- specifically, the early 20th century French ballroom dance form known as musette -- what his mentor Astor Piazzolla did for the Argentinian tango. Galliano reimagined and revitalized a musical tradition, expanding its emotional range to reflect modern sensibilities, opening it up to improvisation learned through American jazz. In fact, Galliano was more of a jazz musician than a folk one, although he blurred the lines so much that distinctions were often difficult to make. Born in France of Italian stock, Galliano began playing accordion (as his father had) at a young age. He later picked up the trombone, and studied composition at the Academy in Nice; he also fell in love with jazz as a teenager, particularly cool-era Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, and had made it his primary focus by the late '60s. Making a living as a jazz accordionist naturally proved difficult; fortunately, after moving to Paris in 1973, he landed a position as conductor, arranger, and composer for Claude Nougaro's orchestra. He remained there until 1976, and went on to work with numerous American and European jazz luminaries, including Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Toots Thielemans, Ron Carter, Michel Petrucciani, and Jan Garbarek. After meeting Astor Piazzolla, Galliano refocused on his European heritage and set about reviving and updating musette, widely considered antiquated at the time. He signed with Dreyfus in 1993, and the label gave him enough exposure to cause a stir first in his home country, then among international jazz and world music fans. Regular recordings followed; some with clarinetist/soprano saxophonist Michel Portal, some with guitarist Jean Marie Ecay, and some with his favorite rhythm section of bassist Jean-François Jenny-Clark and drummer Daniel Humair (after Jenny-Clark's untimely death, Rémi Vignolo took his place). In 2001, Dreyfus released Gallianissimo, a compilation drawing from his seven albums for the label and a new recording, Face to Face, a duet recording with French pianist and vocalist Eddy Louiss.

Blues Sur Seine In 2004 after several global tours and reissues of some of his earlier albums, Blues Sur Seine, a duet offering with cellist Jean-Charles Capon, was released on La Lichere; he also appeared as a soloist with Josefine Cronholm on Blue Hat by Søren Siegumfeldt's String Swing and Concerts with Portal. This was followed by 2005's Ruby, My Dear by the New York Trio: Galliano, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Clarence Penn.

Solo In 2007, Galliano delivered Solo on Dreyfus as well as Mare Nostrum, co-headlined with Paolo Fresu and Jan Lundgren, and Luz Negra, a tango album by his own sextet. By all accounts, Galliano, in his touring, composing, and recording appearances, had become prolific on both sides of the Atlantic.

Love Day: Los Angeles Sessions The accordionist recorded with Charlie Haden, Mino Cinelu, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba on 2008's Love Day: Los Angeles Sessions, and back in Europe with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra on Ten Years Ago; both were issued on Milan.

Nino RotaGalliano signed to Deutsch Grammophon, where he cut a trilogy of classically themed recordings: J.S. Bach in 2010, Nino Rota in 2011, and Antonio Vivaldi in 2013.

Sentimentale The tango and bal-musette accordionist returned to jazz in 2014. Sentimentale was recorded for Resonance and produced by its founder, George Klabin. The studio band consisted of pianist-arranger Tamir Hendelman, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Carlos Del Puerto, and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli. It was released in September.

After having learned, since the age of 4, piano and accordion from his father, Accordion player and teacher, Lucien Galliano, he is welcome at the Conservatorium of Nice , directed by the famous Pierre Cochereau, and studies Harmonies, Counterpoints … as well as Trombone (First prize in 1969).

In 1975, he meets Claude Nougaro while settling down in Paris . Richard Galliano will be his accordion player and Orchestra chief till 1983. He will compose for him the music of ALLÉE DES BROUILLARDS, DES VOILIERS, VIE VIOLENCE … In 1980 , second important meeting: Astor Piazzolla who will advise him to create a French NEW MUSETTE the same way Piazzolla invented the Argentinian NEW TANGO.

Richard Galliano has recorded more than 50 albums under his own name and collaborated with an impressive number of artists: From the Jazz world: Chet Baker, Eddy Louis, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, Gary Burton. From the French variety: Serge Reggiani, Claude Nougaro, Barbara, Allain Leprest, Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg.

Cross-Over: Nigel Kennedy – his "Bach Project" on Deutsche Grammophon has beaten all classical sales with more than 50.000 copies in 2010.

1997: A "Jazz Victory Award" for his album "New York Tango".

1998: A "Jazz Victory Award" for his album "Blow Up".

2009: Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

2010: A "Sacem Award" for the best pedagogical method of accordion which he co-wrote with his father Lucien Galliano (Éd.Lemoine).

2011: Commandeur of the Order of Arts et Letters.

2014: A "Classical Victory Award": Richard Galliano receives the award of the "Best Composer of the Year 2014".

2016: Richard Galliano records his new album, dedicated to the work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

1 Mozart - Rondo alla Turca (Piano Sonata No.11 in A major, K.331)  
2 Mozart - Flute Quartet in D major, K.285  
3 Mozart - Allegro  
4 Mozart - Romanze (Andante)  
5 Mozart - Menuetto (Allegretto)  
6 Mozart - Rondo (Allegro)  
7 Mozart - Laudate Dominum (Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339)  
8 Mozart - Allegro  
9 Mozart - Adagio  
10 Mozart - Rondo  
11 Mozart - Adagio for glass armonica in C major, K.356/617a  
Richard Galliano - Petite Musique De Nuit ( Album Mozart )

Legendary accordionist Richard Galliano again forges new paths in classical music with this album of well-known Mozart pieces arranged for him and a string quintet. The third album of classical repertoire from the legendary jazz accordionist, this follows his successful albums of Bach and Vivaldi. Richard Galliano shows a clear empathy for the music of Mozart, largely borne from his origins playing classical music at the beginning of his career before turning his attentions to jazz. "Playing Mozart on the accordion and the bandoneon!" jested Galliano. "It's true that it's something that doesn't happen every day. The public finds it hard to imagine… are accordionists afraid to play Mozart' But in my opinion no music ever sounded so obvious. Like J.S. Bach's compositions, Mozart sounds marvelous on an accordion."

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Crossover Media Projects with: Richard Galliano