Numerous and various are the influences I have been under. Ever since my early youth, I have been listening to Ray Charles’ blues and Elvis Presely’s rock’ n' roll, as well as to baroque, classical or romantic music, be it Russian, German or French, without forgetting of course the music of New Orleans.
I was also brought up with the sounds of oriental monodic music in Tunisia, accordion music and French songs. In short, I am interested in all I hear and all acoustic, instrumental and rhythmic music stirs my soul.
Around 1977, as I teenager, I discovered the large variety of American big-band swing, of ragtime (especially Scott Joplin) but also James Scott, Tom Turpin, Joseph Lamb, Zez Confrey or Bill Mayerl. Each of these works creates a world of its own for each piano soloist. From then on, Boogie-Woogie started to become an obsession and this has never changed since.
When I initiated my career as a pianist at the age of 18 in the early 1980’s, I needed new horizons, while simultaneously being stimulated by the diversity of sounds and influences.
Today, I do not prefer any one pianist over another, although the influence of about 10 among them can be detected in my playing : George Gershwin, Erroll Garner Earl Hines, Pete Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Wilhelm Kempf, Teddy Wilson, Ramsey Lewis, Ray Charles, Yves Nat.
Music’s effect goes far beyond influences, and I find it equally pleasurable to listen to Alfred Cortot or to Michel Camilho, even though my playing is very different from either of theirs.
But music does not end with the piano either!
Listening to non pianistic music takes up the main part of the time I spend listening. Here are some works I often listen to these days : Berlioz’s « Symphonie fantastique », Beethoven, Mahler and Tchaikovsky symphonies, Verdi and Bizet operas and songs by Fairouz, Chuck Berry, Au Bonheur des Dames and Guillaume Dufay.
All these works belong to a world I love entirely, the world of music.