Claude Bolling is one the most famous French musicians in the world. Although his passion is jazz, he is also an accomplished composer of pop music and has written numerous film scores. He is quite an accomplished player of classic ragtime and stride piano as well.
While born in Cannes on April 10, 1930, Claude Bolling has always lived in Paris. During the German occupation of France he received musical training from Marie-Louise “Bob” Hake, pianist, trumpet player and drummer in one of the many female orchestras à la mode in the inter-war period.
Claude Bolling was introduced to the magic world of jazz by a schoolmate friend and became enamored with the music of Thomas Fats Waller. At just 15 years old he gained recognition and high marks at an amateur contest organized by Jazz Hot and Hot Club from France in Paris. He soon became interested in the music of several other masters of the piano like Willie “The Lion” Smith and Erroll Garner. Most influential to young Bolling was one of the early pioneers of the stride style of piano playing, who went on to lead a successful big band during the Swing Era, the great Earl “Fatha” Hines.