JANUARY 2014 – JUNE 2018 MANDATE
Whether appearing solo as a guitarist or leading orchestras whose personnel and size couldn’t vary more — they range from the quartet to the big-band —, Olivier Benoit’s sole obsession has always been to further his explorations of territories still barely represented on the official map of contemporary music.
Appointed for a term of four and half years at the head of the Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ), the composer and guitarist 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, Olivier Benoit picked ten musicians of rare character, ranging from new talents on the French jazz scene to instrumentalists with years of experience to their credit, all players firmly committed to research in various fields of music. The result produced an ONJ ready to take on every aesthetic challenge possible, an orchestra capable of fulfilling the ambition lying at the heart of his project : to free genres from the compartments which separate them.