Didier Lockwood, both as a composer and an improvisator, has distinguished himself on the international jazz scene with his own very personal and unique sound. In 2014 Didier Lockwood will celebrate his 40-year career filled with memorable encounters, during which time he recorded over 35 albums in Europe and the United States, and gave more than 3500 concerts in the most prestigious festivals and concert halls around the world. Born in 1956 in Calais, France, his father, a violinist, transmitted his own passion for the instrument to his son. Towards the end of his classical studies at the Academy of Music, he discovered the freedom of improvisation. At the age of 17, he moved on to the progressive rock scene with the mythical group Magma; then at 21 he turned to jazz where he was discovered by Stephane Grappelli.His many awards include awards from the SACEM (Societe d’Auteurs, Compositeurs et Musiciens),the Victoire de la Musique, a Gold Album, the Charles Cros Prize, the Blue Note Award, 3 stars atDown Beat, Jazzman de Choc, the Gold Diapason, Fip Selection etc. He was also honored with the title of Officer of Arts and Letters, then was elevated to Knight of the Legion of Honneur.
Inspired by a wide range of music, Didier Lockwood has always remained true to jazz, showcased with his many multi-ethnic musical colors in his album “Globe Trotter” (Universal Jazz label). In 2004 he received the Maurice Yvain prize (SACD) for the entire body of his symphonic work (concerti for violin, for piano, two operas and a cycle of melodies for voice and orchestra). He composes both for the cinema and for contemporary dance and has continued to transmit his passion for improvisation at the CMDL (the International School of Music Didier Lockwood) that he created in 2001, which is situated at Dammarie-les-Lys, France.
To mention a few musicians he collaborated with: Martial Solal, Henri Texier, André Ceccarelli, Miles Davis, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, Marcel Azzola, Elvin Jones, Philip Catherine, Richard Galliano, Lenny White, Mike Stern, Dave Holland, Steve Gadd, les frères Marsalis, David Liebman, Richard Bohringer, Gil Goldstein, Biréli Lagrène, Peter Erskine, Jacques Higelin, Jean-Marie Ecay, Uzeb, David Kikoski, Thierry Eliez, Darryl Hall, Paco Séry, Zao, Benoit Sourisse, Linley Marthe, André Charlier, Antonio Farao, Guo Guan, Fiona Monbet, Thomas and David Enhco ou Héloïse Lefebvre, Dave Brubeck, Michel Petrucciani, NHOP, Gordon Beck…
“I’m not often surprised by the recordings of musicians the way I was overwhelmed the first time I heard Antonio Farao’ on one of his recent CD’s. What amazed me was what I felt inside of me. There is so much warmth, conviction and power to his playing. I was immediately attracted to his harmonic conception, the joy of his rhythms and swing feel and the grace and ingenuity of his melodic improvisational lines. Antonio is not only a fine pianist but a great one.”
Originally from Rome (Class of 1965), Faraò’s musical sensibility together with a remarkable knack for melodic improvisation, have contributed to his reputation as one of Europe’s most respected pianists. Faraò’s style is unique: flawless technical proficiency, unbridled creativity and exhilarating vitality, and remarkable rhythmic skills.
Antonio Faraò was born into an extremely musical family. His mother was a known painter, his father was a jazz drummer. However, both of them had a great affinity and introduced him to the jazz music. By means of that he grew up listening to musicians such as: Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Due Ellington, Frank Sinatra and last but not least Ella Fitzgerald. Because of the parent’s life pioneering Antonio Faraò gained the love for swing from them. First influenced by that style today’s influences are different. At the age of 6 he started playing vibraphone which was followed by drum playing. Finally he began to play piano and he joined piano classes with Adriano Giustina and Riccardo Risaliti at a classical school. It was the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory where Antonio Faraò studied for a degree. The completion of all studies was done after a period of 8 years.
His latest album Evan registered in NY with Joe Lovano, Ira Coleman and Jack Dejohnette features an extraordinary cast of musicans, that follows as a natural consequence of their affinity and numerous past collaborations and recordings.