Stéphane SEVA


Piano, Clarinet, Trombone and Washboard

The group's 15th album, 'Live in Monsegur', will be released in 2010 on the Black and Blue label, distributed by Socadisc.

"Une formule unique dans le monde du jazz traditionnel qui apporte le souffle nouveau que l'on attendait pour cette musique" (a formula that is unique in the world of traditional jazz and which brings a welcome dose of new life to the genre).

An ambassador the world over for traditional jazz from France over the last 20 years, the band Paris Washboard is made up of 4 soloists with international reputations in the field of traditional jazz. Daniel Barda on the trombone, Alain Marquet on the clarinet and Louis Mazetier on the piano have just been joined by Stéphane Séva on the washboard and vocals.

Paris Washboard

The group, which was formed in 1988, is made up of 4 instruments - clarinet, trombone, piano and washboard.
The group, which was formed in 1988, is made up of 4 instruments - clarinet, trombone, piano and washboard. The format surprises and delights by virtue of its originality and its liveliness. The success that the band has enjoyed around the world over 20 years is proof that this format, unique in the field of traditional jazz, brings a breath of fresh air to the genre. Warmth, youthful enthusiasm, humour, professionalism, a repertoire that is rich and constantly added to (music from the 20s and 30s, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, etc., as well as original compositions and now Duke Ellington) along with the band members' individual and extraordinary musical personalities but bound together by a firm friendship - these are the ingredients of Paris Washboard.
The group has toured the United States in each of the last 17 years, performing in places such as Moodus, Santa Rosa, Costa Mesa and New York, and has now given more than 250 concerts there. It has also toured New Zealand and Australia (1992), Argentina and Uruguay (1994), Japan (1997), Hungary (1998 and 2008), and appeared in Canada, Germany (between 10 and 40 concerts a year since 1993), Switzerland and other European countries including, (of course!) France, where it gives a concert on the second Friday of every month at the 'Petit Journal St Michel'.

Since its formation the group has made 12 records. The American magazine, 'Jazzbeat', put Paris Washboard number 4 in a ranking of foreign jazz bands, ahead of many prestigious European line-ups. On July 26th 2001, Paris Washboard performed in one of the most important concert venues in New York, '92nd Street Y', near Central Park. The show was such a success that the organisers immediately signed them up again for the same concert (a homage to Fats Waller) on the 25th July of the following year.

Daniel BardaDaniel BARDA, The founder and leader of the ensemble, is in reality a conductor of symphony and opera orchestras, but he devotes himself as often as he can to his other passion, traditional jazz. When performing in the style of music, he plays the trombone with energy but in a relaxed manner.
Since 1968, Daniel Barda has played in a number of traditional jazz formations, such as the 'High Society Jazz Band', 'Charquet and Co', 'Watergate Seven plus One' (formed in 1974), and the 'Claude Luter Jazz Quintet'. He was voted best New Orleans-style trombonist in France by the readers of a specialist jazz magazine. In the United States he is often compared to James Archey, Turk Murphy and Jack Teagarden, three great figures of American jazz. In 1993 Daniel Barda won the Sidney Bechet prize from the Académie du Jazz, and in 1998 he made his 100th record - a Paris Washboard album!

Alain MarquetAlain MARQUET, He studied classical piano following a meeting with Irakli at his secondary school in 1959. He then played in his band 'The New Orleans Ambassadors' for 11 years. After that he joined the group 'Charquet'. In 1973 he was awarded the Sidney Bechet prize by the Académie du Jazz. He has been a member of Paris Washboard since 1989. His strong personality backed up by his extraordinary technical ability allows him to give free rein to his lyricism. His endless inventiveness makes for unequalled improvisation. The rounded and colourful tone from his clarinet reminds one of a Sidney Bechet, with a shade of Johnny Dodds.
Since the 1960s he's been in great demand all over the world and plays in many bands, both in France and abroad. He has appeared on an impressive number of recordings (over one hundred albums), as often with European musicians as with American ones. "Il sait se montrer excellent soliste et remarquable improvisateur" (He's both an excellent soloist and a remarkable improviser), the Dictionary of Jazz, published by Laffont.

Louis MazetierLouis MAZETIER, For more than 20 years he has been acknowledged as one of the very best stride pianists in the world. At a very early age he made his debut in classical piano. He has an exceptional sense of melody and an astonishing ability to improvise. His remarkable compositions and own versions of jazz classics make for moments of great emotion when levels of technical skill and feeling together reach new heights. His right hand provides the bass notes with such mastery that there's no need for Paris Washboard to seek the services of a bass-player! His musical idols include James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Art Tatum.
Since 1991 he has been developing a career as a solo pianist, and in 1992 the Académie du Jazz awarded him the Sydney Bechet prize for best traditional jazz musician. He has played in duos with the world's greatest pianists of stride music, including Dick Hyman, Ralph Sutton, Neville Dickie, Berndt Lhotzky, and Mike Lipskin, and has put together a programme of solo piano recitals which show the evolution of jazz piano from its origins through to bebop.
In great demand in the USA and numerous countries in Europe for 10 years now, Louis Mazetier has become the essential authority on stride piano. He has recorded 8 albums, the latest of which is a piano solo album released by the Swiss label 'Jazz Connaisseur', which, to those in the know, is a clear indication of its quality. Following an invitation by Dick Hymans, one of the great White American 'stride' pianists, Louis is the only person up to now to take up the challenge posed by this music that is so difficult to play. He has also written a great many articles for a variety of jazz magazines. Louis has won the 'Prix de l'Académie du Jazz' and the Bill Coleman prize for best record.

Stéphane SévaStéphane SEVA, the youngest member of the group, is the washboard player of the new generation. Through endless and vastly different musical encounters - a duo with a double-neck guitarist, for example, accompanying Benin music with harp and African drums, or scraping the corrugated metal plate to electro music with a didgeridoo player - he is writing the history of his instrument. Stéphane has two strings to his bow - singing and playing the washboard. He began his musical career with his father, playing the washboard in a traditional jazz band. Today he's recognized as one of the specialists in France in this highly original instrument. At the same time he studied singing with the American jazz singer, Sarah Lazarus. In 2007 as a singer in an octet he recorded an album entitled 'To Frank and Ray', a homage to Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles. Since 1998 he has made regular appearances at jazz festivals and Parisian jazz clubs with his band 'Swing Ondulé', in the line-up 'Lancelot et ses Chevaliers'or accompanying a wide variety of musicians such as Daniel Huck or Ludovic de Preissac.
«Stéphane Séva est remarquable au washboard par son soutien et ses interventions» -Jazzhot-
The washboard is the forerunner of the drum kit. It's an actual board for cleaning clothes, made of corrugated metal plate which you rub or tap with thimbles. The washboard often has additional features attached to it, such as cymbals or wood blocks.

Excerpts from the new album :
  1. The minor Drag
  2. Caravan
  3. Maple Leaf Rag
  4. Rockin'chair