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Jazz: death of famous guitarist Christian Escoudé

The great jazz guitarist Christian Escoudé died of cancer at the age of 76 on Monday near Angoulême, his hometown, AFP learned from reliable sources.

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Jazz: death of famous guitarist Christian Escoudé

The great jazz guitarist Christian Escoudé died of cancer at the age of 76 on Monday near Angoulême, his hometown, AFP learned from reliable sources. “He died this Monday morning in Charente,” one of the press officers in charge of his last concerts told AFP. “He died this morning of cancer at the age of 76, his son told us,” Max Robin, artistic director of the specialized label Label Ouest which produced his last album, Ancrage, told AFP. He described a “great musician and composer” who became, over time, “a friend”, someone “inspiring both by what he composed and his full commitment to his music”, an “improviser and stage man.

Born in September 1947 in Angoulême to a gypsy father and guitarist, fan of Django Reinhardt, and a mother from Charente, Christian Escoudé is one of the rare jazz guitarists who have obtained the Django Reinhardt prize, from the Jazz Academy, in 1976. It was an international duo tour with John McLaughlin, a world British guitar star, which made his career take off in the early 1980s, taking him from "a musician highly esteemed by his peers but performing especially in clubs, to much larger venues and to a much wider audience,” according to Mr. Robin.

He then distinguished himself, in 1983, in the trio he formed with the French violinist Didier Lockwood and the Belgian jazz guitarist Philip Catherine. Then, from 1985, in the Trio Gitan with Babik Reinhardt, son of Django Reinhardt, and the French gypsy jazz guitarist Boulou Ferré (the formation has seen other musicians pass over time). He joined the jazz department of the major record company Universal, multiplying tours, albums and concerts.

Crowned with a Jazz Victory of Honor in 2022 for his entire career, Christian Escoudé brought together a brand new quintet, mixing styles and generations. Influenced by his writing masters (Gil Evans, Claus Ogerman, Antonio Carlos Jobim...), he celebrated with Ancrage a double return to his sources, that of his native land and his loyalty to the music that nourished him (be bop , west coast jazz, French song...).

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