31 August 2022

August Ending

23 August 2022


Rhodes Mark I, photo by Jean KapsaRhodes Mark I, photo by Jean Kapsa

I recently got a call from Dan Goldman, Rhodes CPO, who informed me that I had won the Win a Rhodes MK8/75AE Piano’ competition! This amazing and unexpected news means that in a few months, I will be delivered a limited edition (only seventy-five) of the brand new Rhodes MK8 piano. I am very grateful to the Rhodes team for this incredible gift; the opportunity of having this instrument at home will definitely change my way of working on music. I can’t wait to experiment, play and record with this stunning instrument. You can also expect me to post some clips on Instagram / Youtube in the future.

Many improvements and great features have been announced and detailed for this new model1; before having the chance to play it, I thought this was a good time to share how I grew up with the sound of the Rhodes.

Way before I even played a Rhodes piano for the first time, I remember being moved by its sound around 1995 when I was ten years old and started listening to the Blues Brothers and Ray Charles (whom I saw performing live in 1999 at Crest Jazz Festival in France), and later, between 2000 and 2005, with french musicians Ludovic Navarre (aka St Germain), Erik Truffaz, or Wise band (led by Robin Notte, who later became a friend). As I grew up listening to different things, my ears finally got acquainted with many other artists playing the Rhodes.

Around 2007, I had a first opportunity to play a Rhodes Mark I, that belonged to a friend who brought it to a jam session. I remember finding the sound beautiful, and that I had to adjust a bit my playing and my voicings, because it didn’t react the same way as an acoustic piano. The dynamic range was different, the touch was also different, with wobbly keys bouncing in a loosy way, but still kind of facilitating the phrasing. In 2010, for the first album of the Benoit Berthe Quartet (with Nicolas Charlier and Zacharie Abraham), we used a Rhodes MK1 for a piece called Checkpoint. The next time I could play one was in 2012, we recorded a demo with a quintet in Paris (with Gautier Garrigue, Florent Nisse, David Enhco and Romain Cuoq) and the studio only had a MK1 as a keyboard instrument. The last time was in 2019 for a session in the studio of drummer Anne Paceo, with Rashan Ahmad, Benoit Lugué and Arnaud Desprez.

Rhodes MK8/75AE Limited Edition PianoRhodes MK8/75AE Limited Edition Piano

Below is a non-exhaustive list of songs/albums with Rhodes piano on it, that I enjoyed listening at some point, in no particular order:

Walter Smith IIIKate Song (Robert Glasper on the Rhodes)
Uri Caine — Our Hour
Miles Davis — In a Silent Way (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Joe Zawinul on the Rhodes)
Chris Potter — Rumples (Craig Taborn on the Rhodes)
Bill Evans — The Bill Evans Album
Keith Jarrett and Jack Dejohnette — Ruta and Daitya
Paul Simon — Still Crazy After All These Years (Barry Beckett on the Rhodes)
Herbie Hancock — Actual Proof
The Doors — Riders on the Storm (Ray Manzarek on the Rhodes)
Erik Truffaz — Bending New Corners; The Dawn (Patrick Muller on the Rhodes)
Robert Glasper — Riot
Chick Corea — Return to Forever
Wise — Le Troisième Homme (Robin Notte on the Rhodes)
The Blues Brothers & Ray Charles — Shake A Tail Feather
St Germain — Deep In It (Alexandre Destrez on the Rhodes)
The Beatles and Billy Preston — Get Back
Chris Cheek — Granada (Brad Mehldau on the Rhodes)

Here is a playthrough video with the Rhodes MK8/75AE.

  1. Notably the keyboard is manufactured by Kluge Klaviaturen GmbH (Steinway, Bösendorfer, Fazioli…).↩︎

05 July 2022

Late June

09 May 2022


14 April 2022


12 April 2022


14 March 2022

Piano Day Athens

I’ll play a show in Athens, Greece, on March 29th, for this year celebration of Piano Day. The event will take place at the Parnassos Literary Society. There will be workshops and piano music all day long; more info on the poster below.

Piano Day AthensPiano Day Athens

Piano Day Athens 2022

08 March 2022


12 February 2022


31 December 2021


18 December 2021

La nuit

Pigalle de nuitPigalle de nuit

La Tour Eiffel de nuitLa Tour Eiffel de nuit

17 November 2021

Improvisation au festival Cinézic

Ceci est un extrait du concert que j’ai donné samedi dernier dans le cadre du festival du film musical Cinézic à Vernoux-en-Vivarais en Ardèche. Dans ce passage j’improvise autour du morceau Deborah’s Theme composé par Ennio Morricone pour le film Once Upon a Time in America de Sergio Leone.

En première partie je jouais pour un ciné-concert sur trois films de Buster Keaton : La Voisine de MalecMalec chez les Fantômes et La Maison démontable de Malec.

03 November 2021


28 September 2021


De retour du festival Jazz à Liège où nous jouions à la Cité Miroir avec le ReBop Quintet +1 mené par le batteur Raphaël Chevalier Duflot.

Cathédrale Saint Paul de LiègeCathédrale Saint Paul de Liège

Gare de LiègeGare de Liège

07 August 2021


28 July 2021

Festival Debussy

De retour du Festival Debussy où je donnais un concert d’improvisation autour des Mélodies de Fauré :

Clair de lune
Après un rêve
Les présents
La fleur qui va sur l’eau
Le secret

Vous pouvez consulter l’article de journal (La Nouvelle République du 26/07) consacré à ce concert.

Photo © Mathias Nicolas

Jean Kapsa au Festival Debussy à Argenton-sur-CreuseJean Kapsa au Festival Debussy à Argenton-sur-Creuse

20 June 2021

Late Night Improvisation

25 May 2021

Improvisation sur deux accords

Une improvisation autour de deux accords extraits du morceau Ce langage obscur issu de l’album Haïku.

15 May 2021


Going, un morceau de Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)

11 May 2021


J’interprète ici au piano Forget, une chanson écrite et composée par Lianne La Havas.

09 March 2021

Clair de Lune

Ceci est un aperçu du programme piano solo autour de Gabriel Fauré que je jouerai dans le cadre de la 10ème édition du Festival Debussy le 25 juillet 2021 à 15h aux Jardins de la Grenouille à Argenton-sur-Creuse. Le festival a mis en ligne une vidéo de présentation annonçant le programme complet.

Après un Rêve
Gabriel Fauré a mis en musique le texte de Romain Bussine, poète et chanteur, son collègue professeur et ami au Conservatoire de Paris… Après un rêve, bonheur, amour, tout n’est qu’illusion et disparaît à l’instant du réveil du poète.
En explorant les Mélodies de Fauré, Jean Kapsa a naturellement pris des libertés au fil de ce voyage improvisé : les mélodies apparaissent alors sous une forme inédite. C’est dans cette exploration qu’il invite l’auditeur.trice à venir rêver d’une autre réalité.

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