The ONJ led by Olivier Benoit has taken its first steps on stage on February 1st 2014 at Sons d’Hiver Festival and has presented its program EUROPA “PARIS”. This singular tribute to the French capital composed by […]
Appointed for a term of four years (2014-2017) at the head of the Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ), Olivier Benoit inaugurates with his musicians the eleventh orchestra in the history of the institution.
Motivated by the desire to have an intergenerational orchestra open to multiple stylistic registers, the new artistic director picked ten musicians with rich, original backgrounds — all of them have given a strong personal touch to their implication in musical research — and created an ONJ suited to all kinds of aesthetic orientations, an orchestra capable of fulfilling the ambition lying at the heart of his project: to free genres from the compartments which separate them.
Olivier Benoit also plays guitar in the orchestra with which he will be pursuing his activities as a composer, and he has chosen Bruno Chevillon to second him — a committed musician with a reputation on the international scene earned during a long and prestigious career — and also play a new role in parallel with his work as the new ONJ’s bassist, i.e., Artistic Advisor.
Inspired by the exciting creative energy to be found in many parts of the world, Olivier Benoit has imagined for the ONJ — apart from his own compositions and works commissioned from other writers — a project divided into different programs which will take this orchestra to creative residencies in various great European cities (Europa), to New Orleans for a tribute to the Afro-American origins of jazz (Back to Nola) coinciding with the 2017 Centenary of the arrival of jazz in France, and also to fields where contemporary music enjoys the complicity of some of the genre’s leading artists.
As a genuine laboratory for exchange and creation in Europ, the Jazzz Fabric will be inaugurated at the Carreau du Temple in spring 2014. This unique project joused in an exceptional venue in the heart of Paris responds to a neworientation in the mission-statement of the ONJ institution, which desires to develop Jazz Fabric as a nursery for artsistic projects that serve newly-created music.
Articulated around three facets — creation, diffusion, cultural action — Jazz Fabric is a tool shared essentialy by the ONJ and the artists associated with its various programmes, abut also open to the emerging formations and creations of the Orchestra’s musicians and its European guests with the ambition of creating multidisciplinarity get-together.
Through a series of regular rendezvous, the ONJ, its musicians and numerous like-minded artists will be unveiling to the Parisian public a musical and artistic family-tree that is unique.
This original, evolutional partnership with the Carreau du Temple will come into being on April 26th with carte blanche given to the Orchestra for the inauguration of the venue: and its heartbeat will be felt for the rest of the year in the rhythms of a new Congo Square in the heart of Paris, the City of (all kinds of) Jazz.
For several years now, AJON has developed, as a deliberate matter of policy, the promotion and awareness of the music forms kwnon as jazz with an aim to transmit their richness of expression and so encourage both listening and practise.
Through various programmes and modules adapted to the context of the ONJ’s artistic projects, AJON aims to accompany the public in discovering and learning this music hand in hand with promoters, organizers, educational facilities and associative networks and professionnals to mobilize as a result of these kinf of actions.
Thise essential mission continues in the course of Olvier Benoit’s mandate though the programmes proposed by the artistic director and musicians, and dedicated to targets such as young audiences, musicians’ training, amateur musicians etc.
Ever since its inception, the AJON ["Association pour le Jazz en Orchestre National"] has played a role in producing the albums recorded by the Orchestre National de Jazz/ONJ.
From 1986 to the present, the Association has given support to the recording, mixing, mastering and artwork involved in the conception of twenty-three albums by the ONJ, each of which provides genuine testimony to the different orchestras which have nourished and punctuated the history of this unique institution. During this time, the ONJ’s releases have been distributed in conjunction with various renowned labels (Label Bleu, Verve, Evidence, ECM, Le Chant du Monde, Bee Jazz and JazzVillage).
In 2011, for the 25th Anniversary of the ONJ, the Association reinforced its mission as a producer by undertaking an ambitious reissue project, essentially digital, to make available every album recorded by the Orchestra: the project was christened “ONJ Stories”. The reissue project involved major editorial work and re-mastering the individual recordings in a desire to bring the latter resolutely up to date. So far, nine volumes have become available.
Relying on its wide experience in record-production in the aim of playing an even stronger role in the evolution of its missions serving creative jazz, the Association has today founded ONJAZZ RECORDS.
This new “In-house” label begins its first year of existence by accompanying the launch of the new ONJ led by Olivier Benoit. Closely partnered by L’Autre Distribution — whose savoir-faire and support in developing numerous artists of diverse horizons, and whose evolution over some twenty years has made it a major player in the recording-industry — the new label ONJAZZ Records will independently represent a catalogue consisting of the Jazz Fabric’s productions, those of the Orchestra itself of course, and also releases by new groups composed of musicians from the ONJ. In this way, ONJAZZ Records will give various artistic formats and personalities the opportunity to continue to flourish.