Soundscape explorer Erik Truffaz entered the public consciousness at the turn of the millennium with a repertoire grounded in jazz and branching off into rock, funk and even urban electronica. The French trumpeter has since earned a place among the new jazz elite, crafting modern, imaginative musical atmospheres out of a minimum of notes. Or, as described by Rolling Stone magazine, "a jazz with brawn, soul and plenty of wide, open space."
Born in 1960, trumpeter Erik Truffaz grew up listening to his father play saxophone and joined him on the bandstand at age ten. As a teenager, the young musician heard Miles Davis' opus, Kind Of Blue, which inspired him to set off for the Geneva Conservatoire shortly after. While there, Truffaz played in the Orchestre de Suisse Romande and a few cover bands. In 1990, he formed his own outfit, Orange, which won France's prestigious Prix Special the following year.
Kind of Blue... Note
Heading up his self-named band, the artist delved into more experimental material with a trio of European releases, starting with the well-received Out of a Dream in 1997. His American debut came in 2000 with The Mask, followed by Revisité (2001), a dance music remix of the album, and Mantis (2002) - all of which were released on the famed Blue Note label.
From 2000 to 2009, the trumpeter came to the Festival seven times. His 2004 visit, in particular, revealed the extent of his forward-thinking technique and versatile talent: Truffaz performed with trumpeters Paolo Fresu and Jon Hassell as part of a "DJ Remix" party, followed by an appearance at the Musée d'art contemporain alongside experimental bassist Michel Benita and videographer Judith Darmont.
Atmospheric and richly textured, Truffaz's compositions have been described as "sound collage." Indeed, he is often likened to Miles Davis for his avant-garde approach to jazz fusion. Integrating drum n' bass and hip-hop into his music, Truffaz is clearly unafraid of pushing the boundaries of his instrument.
In 2008, the ever-evolving trumpeter released Rendez-Vous, a series of musical postcards from the far-flung destinations of Paris, Benares and Mexico City. He arrived at the Festival for its 30th anniversary, performing three distinct concerts in the intimate Gesù venue.
For In Between, released in 2010, he reunited with the members of his quartet and collaborated with singer-songwriter Sophie Hunter on two songs.
In October 2012, Truffaz unveiled material from his new album El Tiempo de la revolución as part of a Jazz All-Year Round series concert. Four years later, he released the album Doni Doni, colored with new inspiration and influences taken from a scenic collaboration with the South African danse company VUYANI. Opening up to African sounds, he invited two renown voices to this recording: Rokia Traoré and Oxmo Puccino.