Born: May 13, 1973 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Born in France, Benoit started to play music whilst in his teens with the firm ambition of becoming a rock star and a 1920's aviation pioneer in the like of Charles Lindberg, Roland Garros or St-exupéry.
He moved first to California USA in 1998, and disillusioned, quickly moved to London. In 1999 he created his label JohnJohnRecords.com convinced that soon or later the Internet would change the music industry forever and started playing sessions and producing records. He tried most of the things he dreamt of and worked with scores of famous artists and bands, from writing film soundtracks, playing Rock& Roll in front of mountains of amplifiers, 24 piece jazz big band, touring Japan, or performing surrounded by barely dressed burlesque performers... he somehow got a bit confused.
He put the musical aspirations on hold for a while to travel the UK as a mechanic and ground crew on 1930's biplanes De Havilland Tiger Moths, fulfilling his other ambition: flying. He eventually learnt off the records like people were during the battle of Britain. As much as he loved it, it was quite dangerous.
Salvation came in 2006 when Gaz Mayall took Benoit as lead guitarist in his legendary ska/roots band The Trojans after seeing him play at the iconic 100 Club. He said: Your style is a cross between Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Jimi Hendrix, and by the way forget English, you should sing in French people like a bit of sophistication. That was the seed planted deep in his brain, he started to wear tweed, grow a pencil moustache, and bought a maccaferri gypsy guitar. Five years later the results lays before your eyes and ears.
Since, he gave up flying, and never became a rock star. Even though he played with such legends as Gaz Mayall, Vin Gordon, Prince Buster, Rico Rodiguez, Natty Bo, Louis Alphonso, Nick Welsh, Rhoda Dakar, Big Boy Bloater and many others, being a French gentleman crooner & jazzman suit him better. After all Django Reinhardt & Clark Gable shared the same pencil moustache...
- Jeanie Barton - London Jazz
...Benoit Viellefon, a 36-year-old musician who regularly
attracts more than 250 dapper vintage enthusiasts to his
midweek swing nights.
- Jane Mulkerrins. - The Times
...Something very beautiful: Benoit Viellefon and his
Orchestra combine French chanson, musette with swing. A
very addictive mixture.
- Nathan Nörgel - Wasser-Prada (Germany)
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact email@example.com. Thank you.
1960 Hofner President
1960 Hofner Senator
1973 Maya J-200 electroacoustic
1976 Gibson ES175
1978 Ibanez Les paul Custom (two Seymour Duncan)
1980 Saga Maccaferri "petite bouche"
1984 Tokai Goldstar (Stratocaster '62)
1988 Fender Telecaster (two splitable Seymour Duncan)
2007 Takamine TC132SC (electro-classical)
1978 Fender Precision Fretless (original fretless)
2005 Lakland 55-02 Skyline deluxe model 5 strings
Fender Deville 60watts valves amp with 2x12" speakers
AER Compact Mobile 60watts battery powered with 1x8" speaker