André Ekyan

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André Ekyan (born October 24, 1907 in Meudon ; † August 9, 1972 near Alicante ) was a French jazz musician ( clarinet , saxophone ), composer and arranger .


André Ekyan, self-taught as an instrumentalist , began his career as a musician at Club Le Perroquet , where he played with the Belgian saxophonist Paul Gason and his Versatile Orchestra and directed his own orchestra. In the 1930s he appeared in numerous clubs, such as l'Abbaye de Thélème , Fétiche and the Music Box . There he met many important musicians of the era, such as Philippe Brun , Harry Cooper , Freddie Johnson and Guy Paquinet .

In 1931 he played with Jack Hylton . In 1931/32 Ekyan led the orchestra in the Club Croix du Sud , in which Stéphane Grappelli , Alain Romans , Django Reinhardt and Alix Combelle also played. He also played in another orchestra with Michel Emer and the drummer Max Elloy . In 1933 he performed in the Music Hall of the Paris Olympia with Grégor et ses Grégoriens .

On March 16, 1934, he recorded the "Présentation Stomp" with Reinhardt in Michel Warlop's orchestra . Eykan also took part in Reinhardt's session with Coleman Hawkins on March 2, 1935, the Blue Moon, Avalon and What A Difference a Day Made were recorded; further recordings with Coleman, Reinhardt, Benny Carter and Alix Combelle were made in April 1937 (" Honeysuckle Rose ", " Crazy Rhythm ", " Out of Nowhere " and " Sweet Georgia Brown "). In the same year Ekyan recorded a 78 under his own name ("Pennies from Heaven") for the Swing label . In May 1939 Eykan played in a trio with Reinhardt and bassist Lucien Simoën ("Dream Ship" / "I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me").

In 1935 he played with his formation Jazz Ekyan in the dance cafés on the Champs-Elysées . In 1936 he founded the dance bar / restaurant Swing Time , where he also directed the orchestra organized by the Hot Club de France , the Swing Time tea parties , in which numerous amateur musicians of dance music and jazz took part. In the same year he performed with his orchestra at a jazz gala in the École normal de Musique. In 1937 he recorded with Coleman Hawkins , Benny Carter and Tommy Benford ; he also played with Tommy Dorsey (1936), Ray Ventura (1938), Joe Turner and Frank Goudie (1939).

During the Second World War he continued to work with his quintet, with whom he appeared in the Normandy Cinema and the Salle Pleyel . After the war he played again with Django Reinhardt, as well as Mezz Mezzrow , Léo Chauliac , Emmanuel Soudieux , Pierre Fouad and Ernst Engel . In 1947 he took on the title Hey-ba-ba-re-bop by André Salvador with his orchestra ; he won the Grand prix du Disque in 1947.

In April / May 1950 Ekyan took part in Django Reinhardt's sessions in the RAI studios in Rome . In the 1950s he participated in the radio series Jazz Variétés , which had been launched by André Francis et Charles Delaunay ; also appeared in the Rex cinema and in the Alhambra hall . In 1955 he led his orchestra in Maxim’s restaurant . Ekyan also played in Ray Ventura's orchestra alongside Henri Salvador .

In 1970 André Ekyan made an appearance in the Jean-Pierre-Melville film Four in the Red Circle , in which he played the role of Rico.

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