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Benoît Delbecq
Benoit Delbecq 2007 avec Ambitronix.jpg
Benoît Delbecq performing in Paris, 2007
Background information
Born (1966-06-06) 6 June 1966 (age 57)
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano

Benoît Delbecq (born 6 June 1966) is a French pianist and composer.

Early life

Benoît Delbecq was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and raised in a musical environment. He started studying piano in Bougival at the age of seven with Nicolle Mollard, a former student of Alfred Cortot. He first studied jazz harmony with parisian pianist Jean-Pierre Fouquey, then joined IACP in Paris (in 1982), a jazz and improvised music school founded and directed by bassist Alan Silva, while he continued high school and furthermore sound engineering studies. In 1983 he met Mal Waldron who encouraged him to work on his own music. As he had become an assistant director for films as well as an assistant in sound engineering, Delbecq finally opted to become a professional musician after attending the Banff Centre Jazz Workshop, Canada, in the summer of 1987, where he studied with Dave Holland, Steve Coleman and Muhal Richard Abrams among others. He then studied composition and music analysis with Solange Ancona at the Versailles National Conservatory, studied with pianist Georges Delvallée at Cachan Conservatory. Together with saxophonist Guillaume Orti from France, he went back again to the Banff Jazz workshop in the summer of 1990 where he studied under the direction of Steve Coleman. There he met peers like pianists Ethan Iverson and Andy Milne, saxophonists Tony Malaby and Jorrit Dijsktra, and trumpeter Ralph Alessi among others, as well as British drummer Steve Argüelles, a long-term collaborator.

Later life and career

Since 1989, Delbecq has participated in nearly a hundred and fifty records. He performs solo piano and solo electronics ("MadMacs"), leads or co-leads a number of bands from duos to quintets, and is involved in many multi-disciplinary productions of theater, dance, the visual arts, cinema, radio etc.


Benoît was awarded the Prix de la Sacem in 1995 (with collective Kartet). He was also awarded the Prix de la Villa Médicis Hors les Murs in 2001 and the Civitella Foundation (NY) fellowship in 2009. Both The Sixth Jump and Circles and Calligrams (songlines) were awarded a Grand Prix International de l'Académie Charles Cros,

Selected discography

As leader/co-leader

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1992 Kartet Hask Adda with Guillaume Orti, Hubert Dupont, Benjamin Henocq
1993 Paintings Deux Z Quartet, with Guillaume Orti, Joseph Carver, Steve Argüelles
1994 Les Amants de Juliette Doc with Serge Adam and Philippe Foch
1994 The Recyclers Rhymes Deux Z with Steve Argüelles, Noël Akchoté
1995 Kartet Pression Deux Z with Guillaume Orti, Hubert Dupont, Benjamin Henocq
1995 The Recyclers Visit Deux Z with Steve Argüelles and Noël Akchoté, plus Walter Weirbos, Kenneth Newby and François Houle
1995 The Recyclers Live in Canada 1995 Rectangle with Steve Argüelles, Noël Akchoté
1999 Ambitronix We Da Man Plush with Steve Argüelles
1999 Pursuit Songlines Quintet, with François Houle and Michael Moore (clarinet), Jean-Jacques Avenel (bass), Steve Argüelles (drums)
2001 Piano Book Plush with Steve Argüelles
2001 Dice Thrown Songlines Duo, with François Houle (clarinet)
2001 Nu Turn Songlines Solo piano
2003 Phonetics Songlines Quartet, with Oene van Geel (viola), Mark Helias (bass), Emile Biayenda (drums)
2006 9volt Trippin Plush As Ambitronix; duo, with Steve Argüelles
2007 La Lumière de Pierres Psy with Evan Parker, François Houle
2008 The Bay Window Songlines with Guillaume Orti, Hubert Dupont, Chander Sardjoe
2008 Way Beneath the Surface Songlines As Poolplayers; quartet, with Arve Henriksen, Lars Juul, Steve Argüelles
2009 Where Is Pannonica? Songlines with Andy Milne
2010 Circles and Calligrams Songlines Solo piano
2010 The Sixth Jump Songlines with JJ Avenel and Emile Biayenda
2011 Balance des blancs Sofa with Kim Myhr, Nils Ostendorf and Toma Gouband
2011 Because She Hoped Songlines Duo, with François Houle (clarinet)
2012 Crescendo in Duke nato With various others
2013 Fun House Songlines As Benoit Delbecq/Fred Hersch Double Trio; with Fred Hersch (piano), Jean-Jacques Avenel and Mark Helias (bass), Steve Argüelles (drums, electronics), Gerry Hemingway (drums)
2014 Grand Laps Songlines with Guillaume Orti, Hubert Dupont, Stéphane Galland
2013 Fourth Landscape NuScope Trio, with Samuel Blaser (trombone), Gerry Hemingway (drums, percussion)
2014 Grand Laps Songlines with Guillaume Orti, Hubert Dupont, Stéphane Galland
2014 Les Amants de Juliette s'électrolysent Doc Trio, with Serge Adam (trumpet), Philippe Foch (percussion)
2015 Tout Va Monter nato Trio, with Joëlle Léandre (bass), Carnage the Executioner (voice, beatbox, percussion)
2015 Ink Clean Feed Trio, with Miles Perkin (bass), Emile Biayenda (drums, percussion)
2015 rue Paul Fort Leo with Joëlle Léandre, François Houle, Benoît Delbecq 19
2016 Illegal Crowns RogueArt with Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara
2016 Evergreens dStream As Plug and Pray; duo, with Jozef Dumoulin (Rhodes, bass station, keyboards, e-drumming)
2017 Foley dStream As Manasonics; trio, with Nicolas Becker (foley, sound design), Steve Argüelles (drums)
2017 Solo Solo piano; in concert; released as download or stream
2017 Spots on Stripes Clean Feed Quartet, with Mark Turner (tenor sax), John Hébert (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums)
2018 Davout dStream As The Recyclers; trio, with Christophe "Disco" Minck (bass, ngoni, moog, harp), Steve Argüelles (drums, percussion)
2019 Illegal Crowns The No-Nosed Puppet RogueArt vinyl, with Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum and Tomas Fujiwara
2020 Hopetown - Claudia Solal and Benoît Delbecq RogueArt rec. 2018.
2020 Deep Ford - You May Cross Here with Robin Fincker and Sylvain Darrifourcq (BMC).
2021 The Weight of Light - solo piano Pyroclastic rec. march 2020.
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