Jazz Blues & BoogieWoogie
French pianist Philippe LeJeune is a perfect example of the mixture of jazz and blues which was especially an important strain in the jazz tradition. The young pianist attended in 1968 a concert in Reims (France) by master boogie woogie and blues pianist singer Memphis Slim, and immediately put an end to his classical efforts and began teaching himself piano blues, scouring local record shops fort LP’s by boogie woogie greats. In 1980 he was invited by Memphis Slim himself – who had been a parisian citizen since 1962 – to cut an album titled “Dialog In Boogie” as a piano duet.
Philippe Lejeune’s playing creates a strong blues flavor of soulful, swinging jazz. His repertoire reflects the pianist important early influences, honoring the blues ans jazz masters who inspired him when he first began playing jazz. His playing is always a brilliant assortment of sobriety and expressiveness. Philippe LeJeune has a wide repertoire ranging from classic barrelhouse boogie woogie piano to Duke Ellington and Horace Silver tunes as well those of Milt Jackson and Neal Hefti, but he sounds ‘at home’ when playing the blues.
Philippe LeJeune has released six Cds in the United States, among them a live recording in a trio format at the Blue Moon jazz club in Houston TX. He also makes numerous appearances in major festivals including Detroit Jazz Festival, Cincinnati Blues Fest, Monterey Bay Blues Festival, Jazz N’ June Festival in Huntsville AL, Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz CA, Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival in Toledo OH, and has been a regular guest of first rate American jazz clubs as Baker’s and CliffBell’s (Detroit MI) and Nighttown (Cleveland OH) … His performance at the Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival (Detroit, 2005) was recorded live to be edited into P.B.S. television specials and DVD.
Living in Toulouse, France, LeJeune has also performed for many years throughout Europe in the jazz festival and blues circuit (France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, The Netherlands) and in Africa (Tunisia, Senegal). As an educator and clinician he has taught workshops in music schools, conservatories of music, and has lead seminars at jazz festivals throughout France and USA. He has been also artistic director for ‘Jazz Au Mercure’ since 2005, a monthly jazz concert serie at Mercure Hotel in Toulouse. Philippe Lejeune’s name was introduced into the famous “New Grove Dictionary of Jazz” (Barry Kernfeld) in 2001.
Philippe LeJeune is doing his part to continue a legacy by blending classic jazz, gospel, blues and boogie woogie, with his own stylings. He explores an impressive variety of blues styles and grooves, leaving listeners with a happy feeling.