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The music

The @-quartet (pronounce “at quartet” as in an email address; a wink to his second job) was created by its leader, Didier Verna (guitars, composition), with as a founding principle a fierce desire never to be locked into a particular style. At the risk of paraphrasing Michel Petrucciani, the @ -quartet, "is this rude guest who tries to sit at all the tables”...

Mainly “@-coustic” (second meaning of its name), the band's repertoire, constituted of original compositions exclusively, demonstrates the very broad extent of the musical influences of its founder. Ternary rhythms with varied tempos rub shoulders with ballads, themselves flirting with Latin and Caribbean moods, and that is when the whole thing doesn't turn “free”.

In addition to all these tables at which the repertoire sits shamelessly, it is also the sound palette of the group, deeply cross-border, which makes its specificity. Beyond a classical rythmic section (piano, upright bass, drums), Didier Verna paints, in some way, soundscapes that are specific to each piece, by using many guitars with different sounds (this is his completely assumed “geek” side): electric, electro-acoustic, fretless, synth-guitar, sitar, etc. Finally, the orchestration is occasionally embellished with special guests (vocals, steel drums) which come to complete (or, should we say, sign) the “universal declaration of non-compliance” which constitutes the only official rule of this ensemble.

But we are more than the sum of our influences. The very large sound, rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic diversity of the repertoire does not in any way affect its consistency, as the character of its leader is so strong, in terms of composition as well as improvisation. Besides, by enlisting the best rhythm section one could hope for, Didier Verna also wanted to let the music express itself. To impose only a few things and let the personality of each musician flourish, allows a music to emerge, which is not necessarily the one that was originally expected.

The musicians

Laurent Epstein (piano)


Born in Strasbourg in 1964, he moves to Paris in 1992, where he quickly becomes one of the most sollicited pianists on the Jazz scene, thanks to his swing and his sense for improvisation. He performed at the most important Jazz clubs and festivals, both in France and around the world, with repertoires of standards as much as of personal compositions. He can be heard in his own formations as well as with many great names of Jazz, such as Rachel Gould, Angelo Debarre, Jean-Loup Longnon, and Patrick Saussois. Notable bands with which he performed these last years include his own trio with Yoni Zelnik and David Georgelet, Sébastien Giniaux's Django53 quartet, the William Brunard quartet, François Laudet's quintet, and Hervé Meschinet's quartet. While being primarily involved in the Jazz scene, his muscial eclectism has allowed him to be also present in other artistic universes: theater, French chanson tradition, poetry...

Yoni Zelnik (double bass)


Born in Israel in 1975, he begins music at teenage by playing electric bass in a rock band. Later on, he discovers Jazz and moves to Paris in 1995 to study the double bass at the CIM and the 15th district conservatory. Today, he is one of the most active bass players on the french and international Jazz scene. He has participated in more than 70 albums (with Youn Sun Nah, Géraldine Laurent, Yonathan Avishai...) and tours all over the world in the most prestigious festivals and clubs (North Sea Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Tokyo Jazz Festival...), notably with trumpet player Avishai Cohen. Recent collaborations include Sophie Alour, Laurent Coq, Sam Sadigursky, Sandro Zerafa, Robin Nicaise, Frank Woeste, David Prez, David Doruzka, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Aaron Goldberg, Walter Smith, Nasheet Waits, Ben Wendel, Johnathan Blake, Anat Cohen, Jeff Ballard, Leon Parker, Mark Guiliana, David Binney, Kendrick Scott, Jason Lindner, Justin Brown, Gregory Hutchinson, Yotam Silberstein...

David Georgelet (Drums)

Born in 1976, he begins the drums at the age of 10, joins the Jazz class at the Niort conservatory in 1992, and follows the teaching of Goerges Packzinski at the CIM in 1995, in parallel with sound engineering studies. He collaborates with singer You Sun Nah for 10 years, records 3 albums, and tours all over the world with her. In 2004, he goes to Brazil and records with Sandro Zérafa, Nico Gori, and Max Pinto. He also starts to collaborate with pianist Florian Pellissier. In 2008, he founds Akalé Wubé (ethio Jazz), a band with which he records 4 albums, including the last one, in 2016, with singer Girma Bèyènè (Éthiopiques vol. 30). In the last 10 years, he has played and recorded notably with Manu Dibango, Chico Buarque, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Di Melo, Mahmoud Ahmed, Déodato, Tchavolo Schmitt & Samy Daussat, Paname swing, François Chesnel, le Nagual Orchestra, Olivier Cahours, Lila Tamazit trio, Zurca... He has also participated in several film scores with composer Reinhardt Wagner, and theater plays with Benjamin Murat and Pierre Notte.


Guillaume Naud (piano)


He studies Jazz piano at the CIM in Emannuel Bex's class, and attends a Deug in musicology at the Paris VIII St-Denis university with Max Hediguer and François Jeanneau. He has been teaching piano at CIM since 1998. He played and/or recorded, among others, with Sonia Cat-Berro, Youn Sun Nah, Marc Thomas, Sophie Alour, Jean-Luc Arramy, Gilles Barikosky, Stéphane Belmondo, Jean-Daniel Botta, Larry Browne, Daniel Bruno-Garcia, Raphaël Dever, Vincent Frade, David Georgelet, David Grebil, Arnaud Lechantre, James Lewis, Pierre Maingourd, Dominique Mandin, Manu Marchès, Fabien Marcoz, David Neerman, Ichiro Onoe, Emi Oshima, Patricia Ouvrard, Philippe Pilon, Jean-Pierre Rebillard, Olivier Robin, Frédérick Tuxx, Pierre-Gérard Verny, Olivier Zanot, Yoni Zelnik.

Gilles Naturel (double bass)


Composer, conductor and sideman, he possesses all the qualities of a great bassist: swing, precision, tempo, inventivity, and above all an exceptional sound which is not far away from that of Paul Chambers, with whom he shares the very rare ability to execute superb solos with the bow. Today, he is one of the most demanded bassists in France. He played and/or recorded, among others, with Ray Bryant, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Johnny Griffin, Didier Lockwood, Michel Legrand, André Ceccarelli, Alain Jean-Marie, Laurent Fickelson, Laurent de Wilde, Jeanne Lee, Sarah Lazarus...


¡En Seguida! Roots and Leaves Didier Verna @-quartet