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    Guitar Expert

    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 ,
    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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