OLIVIER FRANC & JEAN-BAPTISTE FRANC
The soprano saxophonist Olivier Franc is the top living disciple of Sidney Bechet. Mr Franc is the son of René Franc, clarinetist of the Pierre Braslavsky's band and of the André Réwéliotty's orchestra who played with Sidney Bechet. Olivier Franc began his carrier in the 1970's and since 1976 has led. In 1979, he was awarded the « Prix Sidney Bechet » by the French « Académie du Jazz ». Well established in the jazz scene, the music critics called him Sidney Bechet’s best disciple, and in 1997, he was rewarded with the « Prix du Musicien Français » from the « Hot Club de France » for his live CD « Swing Folies ». Olivier Franc offers a new and personal music while remaining faithful to the spirit and style of Sidney Bechet. Since 2006, he has had the privilege of playing the saxophone that belonged to Sidney Bechet. Besides Jazz Clubs, Concerts Halls and Jazz Festivals all over Europe (Jazz in Marciac 2009 with the Wynton Marsalis sextet and Bob Wilber), The Olivier Franc Tribute To Bechet Band has also had the chance to play in the prestigious Lincoln Center and Symphony Space in New York or the Opera Houses in Frankfurt and Dresden, where their performance was rewarded by standing ovations.
Inventive stride, swing and blues pianist, Jean-Baptiste Franc created his own style by mixing melodic improvisation and stride. A self-taught musician, he was helped by his father, Olivier Franc, and his influences are Donald Lambert, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Sidney Bechet. In 2001, he played a concert with Louis Armstrong’s bassist, Arwell Shaw in New York. He also played with Fats Waller’s guitarist, Al Casey and earned himself the nickname “Little Fats." His CD recorded with Count Basie’s drummer Duffy Jackson got warmly praised by Monty Alexander and Wynton Marsalis. In 2010 he recorded an album produced by Pat Boon of original compositions written with with singer-songwriter Melody Federer. Mr Franc performed around concert halls all ever the world including a sold out Olympia Theater in Paris in 2015. The May he won the first prize in World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest in Oxford Mississippi.