What's Hot with Jazz Guitar: Jeanfrançois Prins

by Doc Dosco

It's time for some European flavor, so this week we feature Belgain jazz
guitarist Jeanfrançois Prins. Check him out...

Online bio

Belgian Jazz guitarist Jeanfrançois Prins was born in Brussels on
February 18th, 1967. He has spent most of his adult life as a
professional musician; performing, recording and collaborating with many
of today's Jazz giants, he has also been teaching private instrument
lessons and classes in Berlin's Music Universities, communicating with
enthusiasm his passion for this expansive music to the next generations
of players.

At age 17, Prins started playing music as a self-taught improviser.

At age 19, Prins was already leading his own professional band,
performing his original tunes and arrangements. In 1991, he graduated as
a Sound Engineer from the world famous I.N.S.A.S. School for Performing
Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The same year, he was awarded the First Prize
for Instrumental Performance at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de
Bruxelles, as well as the "Golden Sax", awarded by both the French- and
Dutch- speaking Jazz journalists in Belgium.

As a guitarist, Jeanfrançois Prins has performed as a leader and/or as a
sideman with Toots Thielemans, Lee Konitz, Judy Niemack, Kenny Wheeler,
Bud Shank, Lew Tabackin, Gary Foster, Jim Mc Neely, Dan Haerle, Fred
Hersch, Kenny Werner, Michel Herr, Adam Nussbaum, Mike Richmond, Eddie
Gomez, Putter Smith, John Betsch, Al "Tootie" Heath, Jay Clayton, Steve
Houben, Jacques Pelzer, Janice Borla, John Ruocco, Uli Beckerhoff, David
Friedman, Tim Hagans, Café, Peter Herbolzheimer, Ricardo del Fra, Kirk
Nurock, Hein Van de Geyn, Bruno Castellucci, Steve Davis, Joe La
Barbera, Jerry Granelli, Jay Anderson, Scott Colley, Mal Waldron, Quincy
Jones, Theo Bleckmann, ... in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Holland,
Italy, Estonia, Corsica,...) and in the U.S. (New York City, Chicago,
Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Stanford,...)

Jeanfrançois Prins has recorded five CDs as a leader. The fourth one,
"All Around Town" (TCB 99402), was conceived as his own musical photo
album of New York City. He recorded it in trio with bassist Mike
Richmond and drummer Adam Nussbaum, plus saxophonist Lee Konitz as a
guest. His brand new release "Light" (GAM 918), is co-led by drummer
Steve Davis, in trio with bassist Larry Kohut. "Light" is a good example
of their concepts for organic and interactive trio playing with
standards as well as modern Jazz compositions.

He is also featured as a soloist and accompanist on a large number of

Jeanfrançois Prins has been featured on TV in Belgium, France, Holland,
Estonia, and on the satellite channel Muzzik, both in interviews and
performing. In 1994, he was an actor and musician in the Belgian movie
"Just Friends", which won several prizes and was nominated for an Oscar
in the United States as "Best Foreign Film". In early 1999, the Belgian
television (RTBF) produced a special documentary feature about his
international career, both as a musician and an educator. "Brussels -
Berlin - New York - Jeanfrançois Prins" was also aired on the worldwide
French language channel TV5 in the summer of 1999.

Several musicians have played Jeanfrançois Prins' compositions : "New
York Stories" was recorded by his own quintet, Toots Thielemans, Judy
Niemack, Kenny Werner, Michel Herr & Jack Van Poll, and has been used
for several years as the title song of the Radio Judaïca Jazz Program in
Belgium. It was also used in a TV commercial for the Belgian Postal
Service, which was aired on four different channels in Belgium for six
months. "Cat's Eyes" was recorded and performed by his own quintet, by
singer Mary Kay, then featured in Belgian TV game show "Génies en
Herbe", which was aired five times world-wide on the international TV5
channel. "What" was recorded and performed by his own quartet, trumpeter
Richard Rousselet's quintet, and by Lee Konitz.

In the beginning of the year 2000, he was hired, together with Judy
Niemack, to compose and perform all the original music for a
documentary-film series to be aired on the Discovery Channel in the

Always very involved in the groups that he decides to play with,
Jeanfrançois Prins has written arrangements and originals for them
(Richard Rousselet, Lee Konitz, Mary Kay, Judy Niemack, Toots
Thielemans, ...).

Being a sound engineer and knowledgeable about the record industry,
Jeanfrançois Prins has always had a producer's approach to his projects.
He produced and arranged Mary Kay's CD, "Make Someone Happy", featuring
Toots Thielemans. He produced and arranged Judy Niemack's brand new CD
"About Time" (SONY JAZZ), and co-producedRichard Rousselet's CD "Waitin'
For You", and Sören Fischer's CD "Don't Change Your Hair For Me". He is
also consulted by colleagues on questions of sequencing, editing and
choice of "takes".

Jeanfrançois Prins' website


Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in
Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com ,
where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar'
columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc
endorses Heritage Guitars and is a featured artist on their website.
He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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