Born: September 16, 1979 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Tam de Villiers was born in England in 1979 and spent his childhood partly in South Africa, partly in England and mostly in Scotland. He first became involved with music at age 4 playing the violin and then piano a few years later. At the age of 15 he began learning guitar and initially took classes with renowned Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith.
He then studied at Leeds College of Music, attaining his Masters Degree in 2001. He went on to teach and give workshops at the College during which time he toured with his own group and worked as a side man in Tommy Smith’s big bands including the SNJO (Scottish National Jazz Orchestra).
In 2003, Tam moved to Paris. He at first attended classes at the conservatoire de Montreuil under the direction of guitarist Malo Vallois where he received a medaille d’or à l’unanimité (gold medal with distinction) after one year. Since then he has had several influential meetings with musicians such as Marc Ducret, Stephane Payen, and Fabrizio Cassol who have inspired his playing and his writing over the last few years.
He released his first album « Alba Lux » of his quartet with Karl Jannuska, David Prez and Bruno Schorp in October 2008. The CD received excellent reviews from the jazz press (Jazzman, Jazz Magazine, Citizen Jazz, Culture Jazz, Jazzwise…). In September 2009, he participated with his quartet in the famous Trophées du Sunside Jazz Competition, and received 1st prize for Best Soloist.
Currently, he is preparing the release of his second album « MOTION UNFOLDING » (recorded June 2010) with his quartet and David Linx as guest singer.
He has notably played and/or recorded with: Tommy Smith, Marc Ducret, Stephane Payen, Matthew Bourne, Paul Brousseau, Antonin Rayon, Nikki Yeoh, Julian Arguelles, Issam Krimi, Christophe Panzani, Amy Gamlen, Olivier Sens, Yoni Zelnick, Matthieu Chazarenc, Antoine Hervé, Franck Amsallem, Thomas Savy, Sylvaine Hélary, Remi Vignolo, Olivier Calmel, Yvan Robillard, Michael Felberbaum, Remi-Jean LeBlanc, Marc Buronfosse, Isabelle Olivier, Sylvain Clavier, Remy Decormeille, Simon Tailleu, Joe Quitzke, Sebastien Jarrousse, Norma Winstone…. .
Awards:1st prize for Best Soloist Trophées du Sunside 2009
« It’s a strange modernity which delights me here. » Franck Bergerot, JAZZ MAGAZINE
« Very inventive in his playing, de Villiers leads in shifts, subtle breaks in the climate sliding towards a more rough rock sound, and surprises by unexpected phrases. » Jean-Marc Gelin, JAZZMAN
Motion Unfolding (Double Moon Records, 2011)
Personnel: Tam de Villiers: guitar, composition; David Prez: Tenor Sax; Bruno Schorp: Double Bass; Karl Jannuska: Drums; David Linx: guest Vocals tracks 1&10.
Alba Lux (Yes or No Prod, 2008)
Personnel: Tam de Villiers: guitar, composition; David Prez: Tenor Sax; Bruno Schorp: Double Bass; Karl Jannuska: Drums
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Willing to teach:
Available for jazz guitar lessons and instruction on composition techniques. 15 years teaching experience. Masters graduate from Leeds College of Music, and ex-lecturer in the same Music School. Focus on improvisation, rhythmic development, unlocking creativity, alternative approaches to instrument techniques and music theory. Based in Paris region. Can sometimes come to teach on site. Don't hesitate to call or email for more information.
Can organise solo, group playing and also composition workshops in your school. Focus on improvisation, rhythmic development, group interaction, unlocking creativity, alternative approaches to instrument techniques and music theory. Please contact for more information and workshop brochure.