A ‘Jazzed up’ evening

The look on the music students’ faces said it all – they were in the presence of a rare and very special talent. The celebrated French performer, composer and musical activist has fans across the world – he’s enjoyed success in Europe, the US, Vietnam and Japan.

Last week, he came to Ethiopia to thrill an audience at Addis Ababa University’s Yared School of Music, where he performed with two young French musicians: Ralph Lavital and Nicolas Pelage.
Aspiring young musicians and jazz enthusiasts gathered for an evening of smooth sounds and they were not disappointed as Coq played piano, Lavital the guitar and Pelage providing vocals that kept the audience hooked.
Coq learned to play the piano at seven and earned a coveted gold medal, granting him a place at the National Academy of Arts in 1988.
Receiving a grant from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he travelled to New York to study with John Hicks, Mulgrew Miller and Bruce Barth, who went on to produce his first two albums: ‘Jaywalker’ and ‘Changeable’.
Coq made his producing debut in 2001, overseeing the recording of French singer Laurence Allison’s album ‘Theolonius and Bud Together Again’.
The trio recorded an album at New York’s Avatar studio in August 2012, which will be released this year, under the Sunnyside Records label.
The aim of the event was to inspire music students to go on to great things in their own careers. Judging by the standing ovation the band received, that aim was achieved comfortably.