Primary Instrument: Guitar
Jean-Christophe Maillard is a French composer, guitarist and pianist, singer/songwriter and arranger native of Pointe-à-Pître, Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Such atypical circumstances: early classical piano studies, life in the islands, artistic influences from the nearby American continent and the colonizers' metropolitan centers, would naturally reflect along his creative development.
Maillard has been acclaimed as a musician of extraordinary breadth, technical brilliance, and fearless music making. His precocious professional carreer started in Paris, France at the age of 19, touring and recording with Grammy Award-wining artist Angélique Kidjo (1987-1988) as well as touring, recording, producing and composing for world-renown and Victoires de la Musique Award-winner accordionist Daniel Mille (four albums and worldwide tours from 1987 to 2004). Meanwhile, he has been Musical Director for famous singer/songwriter Michel Fugain (two albums recorded, tours and countless TV shows from 1989 to 1993), touring Europe with African music pioneers Toure Kunda (Bill Laswell, Carlos Santana) in 1993-1994, working with Golden Globe Nominated producer, filmmaker and writer Pierre Barouh (Claude Lelouch, Yves Montand, Baden Powell, A Man and a Woman, Ocean's Thirteen) from 1995 on. Simultaneously, Maillard owned and engineered at recording studio Sous La Ville in Paris, Le Marais, in association with Marc Berthoumieux (Charles Aznavour, Harry Belafonte) welcoming there the best of the European jazz scene, as well as pop icons the like of Linda Lewis (Top ten UK artist, David Bowie, Luther Vandross, Cat Stevens) from 1992-1999.
In 1996, Maillard started working on new compositions for acoustic guitar based on traditional rhythms from the Caribbean which led to the release of his first solo album Ka Suite in early 2000; fourteen pieces of overwhelming instrumental prowesses in a unique writing approach, that have been ever since taught in conservatories ( Buenos Aires, Istanbul...) and performed by different players. Played in many radios around the world, this album established Maillard as a visionary solo artist and a groundbreaking composer.
In 2000, Maillard also teamed up with famous Django d'Or Award-winner french guitarist Louis Winsberg (Sixun, John Mc Laughlin, Gino Vanelli) to create the flamenco fusion project Jaleo (released in the USA by Sunnyside records) and then started touring alternately with Jaleo and Daniel Mille around the world.
In 2004, he recorded and toured with renowned bass player Etienne Mappé (Ray Charles, Joe Zawinul, Steps Ahead, John Mc Laughlin) showing uncommon abilities in mixing pop music and various african styles in his playing. He concurrently started working on a second solo project Grand Baton while recording and touring through 2004-2008 with Michel Jonasz, one of the most esteemed french singer/songwriters expressly known for always hiring the best international musicians (Larry Carlton, Steve Gadd...). In early 2009, Maillard recorded and performed with world-renowned drummer Paco Sery (Nina Simone, Jaco Pastorius) for famous jazz-rock band Sixun as a lead singer. He is now touring with the Grammy nominated, international artist Richard Bona (Harry Belafonte, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and John Legend...) and with world renown percussionist Mino Cinelu (Miles Davis, Sting, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Weather report, James Taylor, Chales Aznavour, etc…).
Released in 2007, Grand Baton, an innovative mix of rock music with percussions, is still receiving warm accolades and praiseful reviews from all over the world, allowing Maillard to achieve an international stature now as a band leader, lead singer and pop-rock music producer, and definitly a creative solo artist following a path of his own.
Metal Express Radio: Maillard can be considered as a pioneer regarding this combination of various genres... (his) music brings out the best from his world and the Rock world... (his) purpose in his composing is brilliant and he has a lot to give to the music industry.
Progressive Ears: groundbreaking... t is a truly unique and captivating style of music. an impressive new force in the world music scene and they have received warm accolades from many well-respected members of the musical community already. would highly recommend this. I wish more new music was as original as this.
Progressor.net: The compositions... get more and more fascinating as one adjusts to this rather unique stylistic expression. The mix of ethnic music and rock may also attract the attentions of jazz- and folk-rock aficionados... For liberal- minded followers of rock music that feel a variety of styles, moods and genres is a treat, this production should be worthwhile investigating.
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