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Benjamin Clementine

Origin: United Kingdom

Main instrument: Vocal

Genres: Pop, Vocal jazz

He’s an extraordinary singer-pianist whose backstory fuels a growing legend. Benjamin Clementine was born in London in 1988 to Ghanaian parents. Raised in a London suburb, where he taught himself piano and followed his instincts through musical influences as wide-ranging as opera, classical music, Maria Callas and Eric Satie, later followed by Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and French singers Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel and Léo Ferré. Moving to Paris at 19, he would spend the following 4 years in desperate penury, playing his guitar in the Métro to survive. Discovered by a French agent, he signed to the label Behind, releasing a debut EP in 2013, Cornerstone, with an autobiographical feel, a precursor of the songs to come. Solo at his piano, he pours his powerful and immensely expressive voice into poetic ballads, revealing a subtle piano style that shifts between delicate melody and raw emotional power, drawing comparisons with Nina Simone. After an appearance onJools Holland’s BBC program, his name flashed like wildfire across the Web. With a magnetic stage presence, he soon made an impression with performances at festivals including Les Francofolies de La Rochelle, Les Transmusicales de Rennes, the Festival de Jazz de Montreux, and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. After a second EP in 2014, Glorious You, he finally released his debut album in 2015, At Least for Now, rocketing to the top of the charts and winning a 2015 Victoire de la Musique award in France as Live Performance Discovery of the Year.

2014 Benjamin Clementine Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Club Soda
2015 Benjamin Clementine Friday, October 16, 2015 at 8 p.m.
L'Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan)

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