A pioneer of classic accordion French jazz, Marcel Azzola was born July 10, 1927 in Paris, to an Italian family. As a young accordionist, Azzola took an interest in jazz, and soon enough started playing with the likes of Django Reinhardt or Stéphane Grappelli. Throughout the 1950s, Azzola became a sought after musician and played with some of France's greatest artists, including Edith Piaf, Boris Vian, Yves Montand, and Jacques Brel, who famously exclaimed "Chauffe Marcel!" in the song Vesoul. Azzola also played on a wide range of French movie soundtracks, namely for Jacques Tati, Claude Lelouch and Bertrand Tavernier. For his pioneer and unsurpassed work in French music and jazz, Azzola was made Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture in 2007.