CDs as leader

Quentin Dujardin/Olivier Ker Ourio - SerendipityQUENTIN DUJARDIN / OLIVIER KER OURIO – SERENDIPITY



The word ‘serendipity’ entered the French language very recently. Its broad definition is the gift of making fruitful discoveries by chance, providing a form of understanding around the unexpected.

Olivier Ker Ourio and Quentin Dujardin met in 2016 during a recording session with Richard Bona, Manu Katché and Ivan Paduart. A shared feeling for melody led them to this obvious fact: they would one day make a record together documenting the intensity of the original sound that they sensed. Since this happy encounter, time has done its work around their respective musical approaches: jazz for the harmonica player, crossover for the guitarist.

Open this album with great fanfare is an astonishing cover of the famous jazz standard by Charles Mingus, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. It sets the opening scene: a sound universe filled with bright and warm colors. Olivier Ker Ourio remains close to his native country, Reunion, and the rocky reminiscences in the blues that it carries. Quentin Dujardin, for his part, transports us with freshness to an almost Malian groove topped with slide guitars.

To their great astonishment, a single day in the studio was enough to record the intensity of this moment, posed between softness (Eva) and slow tempo (Serendipity). The expert work of sound engineer Rémi Bourcereau marvelously reveals this diversity of dialogue, oscillating between flamenco (Song for Paco), classical (Ave Maria) and even blues (Blues for M&N). Furthermore, their common island imagination is never far away. You just need to listen to Madagascar.

Let’s also note the nod to Toots Thielemans in a new version of Quentin’s composition En t’attendant, originally recorded with him in 2010 for the album Impressionniste. Olivier Ker Ourio gives us a very personal and magnificently inspired version.

To conclude this voyage, David Linx is the guest of choice for a moment suspended around the song Shy Away.

This record crosses an ocean of blue notes, alternating between calm and stormy seas. The waves carry us from one port to another. A journey towards immense spaces, thanks to the benevolence of chance: serendipity.






Toots Thielemans “gave birth to musical sons like Olivier Ker Ourio” writes Michel Contat in his 2016 article published in Télérama magazine, “who continue in his legendary wake to honor the ‘mouth organ’ with emotion.”

After the ambitious “Somminkèr” with Danyel Waro and “Orkès Péï”, a project paying tribute to the music of Reunion Island rated best of year by Jazz Magazine (“Choc”), Olivier Ker Ourio tirelessly continues to defend his vision of jazz: jazz with creole roots and a singular insularity.

An insularity that is in fact unique, not least because instead of isolating himself on Reunion Island, Ker Ourio wanted to share that microcosm, confront and mix it up with those of other islands far away geographically, yet incredibly close in terms of their history and musical origins.

“Singular Insularity” is the name Ker Ourio chose to describe this latest musical adventure. In it, he initiates a dialogue between diverse creole musical cultures from all over the world like a family get-together between cousins, building a monumental musical bridge between his homeland in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean Islands.

Ker Ourio has surrounded himself with jazz musicians committed to the powerful roots and traditions of their home islands, yet also open and sensitive to the musicality that could emerge from them as a group. The goal was to inspire the expression of a new kind of creole family, related through diversity.

The playground for this vibrant and heartfelt exchange: ten original compositions by Ker Ourio. While singer Bastien Picot and flutist Christophe Zoogonès share Olivier’s creole homeland of Reunion Island, the creole roots of their other partners stretch across the globe: pianist Grégory Privat from Martinique, drummer Arnaud Dolmen from Guadeloupe, percussionist Inor Sotolongo from Cuba and bass player Gino Chantoiseau from Mauritius.

This inter-creole encounter was the genesis of a musical passion fruit of extreme finesse and intensity that relies on completely original songs, some sung in creole, others instrumental, powerful melodies that swing with the irresistible rhythms of the islands.

Olivier Ker Ourio - French SongsOLIVIER KER OURIO – FRENCH SONGS
with Sylvain LUC (gtrs), Laurent VERNEREY (bass) & Lukmil PEREZ (drums)

Olivier KER OURIO revisits some of the most famous French classics with a new top-notch 4TET, featuring one of the most famous French guitar player Sylvain LUC, Laurent Vernerey on e-bass who accompanied most famous French singers, and Lukmil Perez from Cuba on drums !
Classics by Montand, Brel, Gainsbourg, Delpech, Becaud… like “Et Maintenant”, “La Bicyclette”, “Le Métèque” and “Champs Elysées”…
4star – JazzMagazine (May 2017)

Olivier Ker Ourio - L'Orkès PéïOLIVIER KER OURIO – L’ORKÈS PÉÏ
with Jim Celestin: sop sax, Alain Chan: alto sax, Pierre Pothin: tenor sax, Luc Joly: baritone sax, Thuryn Mitchell: piano, Jamy Pedro: e-bass, Emmanuel Félicité: drums, Nicolas Moucazambo: percussions
Guests: Sylvain Luc: guitars & Carlo de Sacco: voc

Internationally reknown harmonica player and composer Olivier Ker Ourio, after a 20 year career in Paris, puts up a medium size band to celebrate his homeland Reunion Island, with top notch players from the new generation.
OKO, as a tribute to his island, remembering his childhood there, revisits the island great classics, and explores as well a set of original compositions.

CHOC DE LA MUSIQUE by Pascal Anquetil – JazzMagazine – June 2015

With Emmanuel Bex (hammond organ), Matthieu Chazarenc (drums) & Nicolas Moucazambo (percussions)

This voice of a world class harmonica great will leave you breathless, May 19, 2014
By musicgalaxyman
This review is from: Perfect Match (Audio CD)
In Europe, the name Olivier Ker Ourio is synonymous with the kind of the artistic groundbreaking music Pat Metheny is known for here. It’s fresh, it’s beautiful and will turn you into a Ker Ourio fan for life.

 His albums are a musical journey, bearing no resemblance to other paths your ears have trodden …he is unique… the real thing.

 I host a Chromatic Harmonica website, MASTERSOFHARMONICA.COM, and this genius’s music has been like finding a field of platinum diamonds in Noah’s ark full to the brim…he will take you someplace…a place you have not been, and the life of music will come alive anew for you.

 I am sure you will love it, and you will be a Ker Ourio fan for life.

David Kettlewell, a musician MASTERSOFHARMONICA.COM

with Philip Catherine (guitars), Emmanuel Bex (Hammond organ) and André Ceccarelli (drums)

For the Jazz harmonica world, Toots Thielemans, the man who transformed this toy instrument into an essential voice in Jazz and Cinema (just remember “The Getaway”, by Sam Peckinpah in 1972), is still the main figure. With his seventh album since 1998, Magic Tree, Olivier Ker Ourio gets to shine in his own light, breathing calmly in his harmonica as on a summer night. The light is soft, the son of Reunion Island climbed the magic tree of his childhood and looks at the sunset over Saint-Denis. He dreams. And he has ideal partners: Emmanuel Bex, who mixes warmly the sounds of his Hammond organ with the sometimes very close mouth organ sounds; Philip Catherine, the one and only, king of melody; André Ceccarelli who discreetly anchors the boat.

All Olivier’s original compositions swing with island rythms: calypso, habanera, cachucha, maloya…, that the Jazz critic will uneasily identify, while Olivier Ker Ourio euphorically improvises with generous lyricism. It is easy to understand why so many great musicians, from Michel Petrucciani to Ralph Towner, from George Moustaki to Michel Legrand, from Aldo Romano to Rick Margitza, insisted to play with him: he breaths with the soul.

Rating: 4F
Michel Contat 4 Clés Telerama n° 3175 – 20 november 2010

with Sylvain Luc, André Ceccarelli, Didier Lockwood, Louis Winsberg, Glenn Ferris, André Minvielle, Danyel Waro, Jean-Michel Pilc, Manuel Rocheman…

“In the family of wind instruments, there is a brotherhood of the highly gifted, blessed by the gods. They are musicians whose breath is naturally colored with music. As soon as they put their instrument to their lips – whether it is a saxophone, a trumpet, a flute or a harmonica – the music is there, right away, guileless and inescapable. Like a truth that immediately plunges the listener into a state of weightlessness with the sheer honesty of its inner voice. This lyrical endowment is called charm. Lester Young, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Stan Getz and a few others have succeeded in harnessing this gift, which transforms breath into “something blue that appeared like a wing” (Victor Hugo). Olivier Ker Ourio definitely belongs to this clan of the chosen.

With this first album under the label Dreyfus Jazz, Olivier Ker Ourio invites us to take a new and elemental voyage… this gentle nomad of the harmonica has chosen, for each track, fellow travelers in his own image. All are true adventurers of musical freedom: pianists Manuel Rocheman and Jean-Michel Pilc, guitarists Sylvain Luc and Louis Winsberg, vocalists André Minvielle and Danyel Waro, trombonist Glenn Ferris and kayamb player Laurent Dalleau, not to forget a fantastic rhythm section with André Ceccarelli and Diego Imbert… At every turn, we find charm and magic, swing and poetry. How rare!”

Pascal Anquetil

e-motive records – 2005
with Ralph Towner (guitar), Heiri Kaenzig (bass)

Released in Spring 2005, Siroko is a unique collaboration with renowned American guitarist Ralph Towner (composer and co-founder of the American group Oregon) and Swiss bassist Heiri Kaenzig (co-founder of The Vienna Art Orchestra). The resulting sound marks a new direction — at times lyric, with intricate harmonies and melodic lines; at other times energetic, using acoustic bass and guitar to achieve a driving rhythm without the use of drums. Throughout, Ker Ourio’s harmonica weaves and dances like a sirocco — the hot, migratory, orange-colored wind that originates in North Africa and crosses the Mediterranean into Europe.

“From the very opening of Bellydancing, we know the blending of these three players is going to be a total success… Ker Ourio, as usual, is a great composer and lyric harmonicist.” ****

Jazzman, Juin 2005

Cobalt – 2003
with Danyel Waro (voc, perc), Nicolas Moucazambo (perc, voc), Serge Daffreville (perc, voc), Isabelle Carpentier (voc), Pierre de Bethmann (piano, keybords), Gildas Boclé (bass), Franck Agulhon (drums), Bruno Rivière (guitar)

The album’s title says it all – on this Sominnkér, or Path of the Heart, Olivier Ker Ourio returns to his roots, investing the music of his homeland Reunion Island with his own unique vision and talent. For his first album as leader to include lyrics, Ker Ourio offers us a recording of his explosive encounter with Reunion Island’s Danyel Waro, “the Voice” of Creole maloya.
An invigorating mix of jazz and world music, this album will surprise you with its magical music, powerful lyrics and emotional intensity.

“The thing that struck me upon first listening to this record is the cohesiveness of the ensemble… It sounds like these guys have been playing together forever…It’s pretty obvious listening to the music that there has been a true cultural exchange going on… ”

Benoit Felten, PlanetHarmonica, Juillet 2005

A ride with the windA RIDE WITH THE WIND
Naive – 2001
with Pierre de Bethmann (piano), Gildas Boclé (bass), Franck Agulhon (drums) and guests: Toots Thielemans, Jacques Pellen, Nelson Veras, Claudio Pontiggia…

Even more than his talent for improvisation, this album bears witness to Ker Ourio’s evolution in terms of composition (most of the tracks are original). The blending of sound between the harmonica and the other instruments is a total success. Olivier’s harmonica, with its sensual sound and fine nuances, pairs up with that of Toots Thielemans, to create an inebriating alchemy. Virtuosity and musical greatness on the part of Ker Ourio… originality in the arrangements and a judicious choice of guest artists… and a warmth that radiates from every song… a captivating album. ****

R.X.L., Jazzman, Mai 2001

Oté l'ancêtreOTÉ L’ANCÊTRE
Pee Wee – 1999
with Pierre de Bethmann (piano), Gildas Boclé (bass), Tony Rabeson (drums), Pierrick Hardy (guitar), Denis Leloup (trombone)…

In 1728, a French miller named Joseph Ker Ourio decided to leave Brittany (northwest France) for L’île Bourbon, now Reunion Island. Two and a half centuries later, one of his descendants has chosen to travel back on the same path, with no other baggage than a chromatic harmonica.
For Ker Ourio, music is no mere game. It is first and foremost a real act of life, a commitment that denies both narcissism and escapism, an intimate lyricism that speaks out through the most highly personal expression possible. True, there is a great freshness and depth in the song of his harmonica. A sort of warm, intensely poetic mist seems to float through his music, borne of the only worthwhile need that exists: that of the heart. ****

Pascal Anquetil, Jazzman, 2000

Central park nordCENTRAL PARK NORD
Pee Wee – 1998
with David Kikoski (piano), Ed Howard (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums)

In just two notes, you’re invaded by the blues on Le Grisbi (Jean Wiener). A few more measures, and you feel as if you’re in a detective story, on a pale early morning. Behind it all, a classy rhythm section picks you up and takes you for a ride: David Kikoski (piano), Ed Howard (double bass), Clarence Penn (drums). With these guys, Ker Ourio is playing on velvet. For his first solo album, he’s got nothing left to do but play those blue notes of his.
Melancholy flows from Ker Ourio’s harmonica. He seduces us: even with certain well-known themes… the suave song of his chromatic harmonica instills an immediately pleasing atmosphere. Taking a stroll with him in “Central Park North” is a real pleasure… ***

Renaud Czarnes, Jazzman

CDs as guest artist

Film “Maoussi” – Charlotte Schioler, 2020
Frank Woeste, Libretto Dialogues, Vol.1, 2018
Série “NINA”/France2/Christophe La Pinta, 2018
Leo Sidran, Cool School – The music of Michael Franks, 2018
Franck Nicolas, Gammes Guadeloupéennes, 2017
LRK TRIO (Lebedev/Revnyouk/Kratsov), If You Have A Dream, 2017
Anne Ducros, Brother Brother, 2017
Alexandre Desplat, Recording Session for film GOLD, 2016
Film “Cigarettes et Chocolat Chaud” de Sophie Reine, 2016
Anne-Marie Van Eeden, Winter, 2016
Virginie Teychené, Encore, 2016
Fred Soul, La Comédie des SIlences, 2016
Gren Sémé, Hors-Sol, 2016
Francis Lai, Film Un+Une de C. Lelouch, 2015
Jack Wilkins, I Was Born In Love With You, 2015
Manuel Rocheman, Paris-Maurice, 2014
Elisabeth Kontomanou, AMoureuse, 2014
Fabrice Legros, Déor, 2014
Houry Dora-Apartian-Friedli, The Day Will Come, 2014
Jean-Marie Marrier, Nature Boy, 2013
André Ceccarelli, TROC 2011 – Universal, 2011
Kevin Seddiki, L’Enfant et l’Arbre – Wildner records, 2011
Licia Chery, – MyMajorCompany, 2011
Leandro Guffanti, Once- SoundCloud, 2011
Frédéric Monino, All the way – Pypeline, 2011
Gérôme Gallo, Quelle histoire… – Sony Music, 2009
Olivier Caillard, Jacques Prévert – Enfance et Musique, 2009
Victoria Rummler, am I am – Juste une trace, 2009
Annie Ebrel, Roudennou – Coop Breizh, 2008
DVD Monaco Dreyfus Night, – Dreyfus Jazz, 2008
Frédéric Jeanne 5tet, Live à KIRON – Axolotl, 2008
Eric Longsworth, A Ciel Ouvert – Diese Records, 2008
Isabelle Caillard, Noël en chansons – Enfance et Musique, 2007
Koxie, Koxie – Lily Corp, 2007
Fernando Paz, Contrôlé Positif – Studio Decibel, 2007
Sylvain Luc, Joko – Dreyfus Jazz, 2007
Jérôme Seguin, Mes Mots – JMUSE, 2006
Davy Sicard, Ker Maron – Warner France, 2006
Frédéric Monino, Around Jaco – Dom – 2006
Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion, Mozart Meets Cuba – Sony BMG, 2006
Romulo Marques, Fly a Kite – Musicaguild, 2006
Marc-Michel Lebévillon, Groove Colors – Iris Music, 2006
Hans Fickelsher, European Brazil Project – Rodenstein records, 2006
Sidji Moon, Nomades – Cristal Records, 2005
Deborah Weisz, Grace – Va Wah, 2005
Rick Margitza, Bohemia – Nocturne, 2005
Bruce Arnold, Duets – Muse-eek, 2005
Frédéric Jeanne, Rêveurs Lucides – Commotion, 2005
Thierry Lang, Reflections Vol.3 – Blue Note, 2004
Jean Marc Jafet, Mes Anges – Cristal Records, 2004
Paris Jazz Big Band, Paris 24h – Cristal Records, 2004
Diederik Wissels, Song of you – Igloo, 2004
Olivier Collette, De l’aube au crépuscule – Mogno music, 2004
Marianna Ramos, Bibia – Harmonia Mundi, 2004
Barbara Luna, Somos – Mélodie, 2004
George Moustaki, Moustaki – Virgin, 2003
Jean-Jacques Milteau, Inspiration – Universal, 2002
Yvinek, Recycling The Future – BMG, 2002
Jean-Marie Ecay, World Energy Blues – Janvier Records, 2002
Guillaume de Chassy, Vu du phare – Axolotl, 2002
Richard Cocciante, Le Petit Prince – Universal, 2002
Christian Scheuber, Clara’s Smile – Challenge Records, 2002
Isabelle Carpentier, J’ai ta main – La Lichère, 2002
Laurent Voulzy, Avril, 2001
Barend Middelhoff, City Lines – Buzz Records, 2001
Marcus Noë, Tout est tabou – Juste une Trace, 2001
Charlier/Sourisse, Gemini – Dreyfus, 2001
Claudio Pontiggia, Immagini e Percorsi – Altri Suoni, 2001
Compilation, Jazz Promenade in France – Naïve, 2001
Serge Lama, Feuille à feuille – Warner, 2001
Interjazz, From Moscow to Paris – PAO Records, 2000
Gingko Trio, Room to Breathe – New Legend, 2000
6 et demi, Toi, ma vie – Night and Day, 2000
Isabelle Carpentier, Envol – 2000
Jean-Marc Jafet, Douceur Lunaire – RDC Records, 2000
Jacques Pellen, Les Tombées de la Nuit – Naïve, 1999
Corin Curschellas, Goodbye Gary Cooper – Make up make 6, 1999
Jean-Jacques Milteau, Bastille Blues – Wagram Music, 1999
Greg Szlapczynski, Greg Time – Night and Day, 1999
Guillaume de Chassy, Rimes – A Records, 1999
Jean-Marie Lagache, Quelque part sur Terre – RDC Records, 1999
Lis Sorensen, Kaertgn – Polygram Danemark, 1998
Joe Locke, Sound Tracks – Fantasy, 1996
Véronique Le Berre, My One and Only Love – Pee Wee Music, 1996
Siberian Jazz Festival Novokuznetsk, Jazz at the Old Fortress – Melodiya, 1996
Hélène Bohy, Au Loup ! – EMCD Enfance et Musique, 1996
Composit (Pierre Stéphane Michel), Let Me Guess – Pan Music, 1995
Aldo Romano, Prosodie – Verve Polygram, 1995
Laurence Saltiel, Tomara – Edyson Records, 1995
Compilation, Lauréats du Concours National de Jazz – ADIAM, 1993
Compilation, Best of Jazz – Discorama, 1992

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