28 Nov


Festival Artists


Considered as one of today’s most spectacular and fascinating saxophone players, Émile Parisien is also an ingenious improviser who possesses innovative and ground-breaking musical skills. Most recently, the Le Monde newspaper in France wrote about him: “Émile Parisien is the best thing that has happened in European jazz in a very long time”.

At the age of eleven, Émile Parisien was spotted by several renowned saxophone players who notice his remarkable capabilities in the fields of jazz, blues, and improvisation. He later entered the Toulouse Conservatory in France, where he studied classical and contemporary music. Thanks to his visionary approach, bringing together free jazz, folk rhythms, and contemporary music, Émile Parisien was invited – while still a student – to perform with several jazz legends, such as Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Johnny Griffin and Bobby Hutcherson.

In 2000 he moved to Paris and founded a new group, the Émile Parisien Quartet. Taking its inspiration from the great classical composers – such as Wagner, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg – and from a variety of 20th century jazz artists – such as John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter – the Émile Parisien Quartet developed a singular musical language, revealing a highly expressionist character, always giving improvisation a primary place in their music. Starting in 2006, the quartet recorded several albums for the Laborie and ACT labels, all hailed by the press and awarded many international prizes.

In 2012, Émile Parisien received the prestigious Django Prize from the legendary Académie de Jazz in France and in 2014, he was named “Artist of the Year” at the French Music Awards. In 2017, he received the Echo Jazz award in Berlin, one of the most important distinctions in the music world.

Émile Parisien regularly performs in the most prestigious jazz festivals and concerts halls around the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz à Marciac, the New York Winter Jazz Festival, the London Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival  the Deutsches Jazz Festival, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Wiener Konzerhaus, the Triennale di Milano, and the Paris Philharmonie. In addition, he is frequently invited to perform on tour with today’s most celebrated jazz artists, such as Michel Portal, Jacky Terrasson, Vincent Peirani, Joachim Kühn, Michael Wollny, John Taylor, Eric Serra, and Roberto Negro