Age: 28 years old
Charles Kieny is a French (Paris and London) based accordionist, synth player, and composer. He is extremely versatile and takes part in many projects, mainly in the fields of improvised music.
Recently graduated from the Paris National Superior Conservatory’s Improvised Music department, great Jazz masters inspire his artistic approach. He was invited two times at the Académie Musicale de Villecroze, where he worked with Richard Galliano and Vincent Peirani, and was employed later as an arranger for the Maîtrise de Radio France.
Charles believes that above all genres, what defines a piece of music is people who play it. Therefore, he is always in a hunt for new experiences and musical cross-breedings: he can be heard playing in symphony orchestra projects (such as Kevin Lam’s “Kind of A Prodigal Son” and Ellinoa’s expanded version of “Wanderlust”), or in delirious Drum’n’Bass band Sayag Jazz Machine, as well as in Fabrizio Cassol’s and Alain Platel’s last collaboration Requiem Pour L, which gathers jazzmen, traditional Congolese musicians and South-African opera singers. Charles seizes every opportunity to expand his experience and regularly participates in various live performances such as the Comédie de Genève’s version of The Threepenny Opera with Yves Rousseau.
In 2019 he’s involved in the ONJ (France’s National Jazz Orchestra) youth orchestra and works with François Jeanneau on his 1980s repertoire, which originally didn’t contain an accordion part.His latest projects as a leader are highly miscellaneous as well: CKRAFT, a group composed of Jazz and Metal musicians, executes a powerful mixture of Gojira/Meshuggah influenced riffs with typical melodic material from Gregorian chants. Quy-Gone, a currently recording Jazz/Hip-Hop 6tet, features Malawian rapper Edash Quata and premiered in Double-Neuf Hip-Hop Festival in Paris. Smaller formations are completing this colourful panoply for which Charles is constantly trying new compositions, such as a 2 cellos and accordion(s) trio Crozphonics (featuring Vincent Ségal) a duet with Taiwanese flautist Ya-Heng Chen, a duet with guitarist Martin Ferreyros, and another duet with pianist Thibault Gomez, which will premiere at Salle Cortot in Paris in March 2020.
Photo credit: Olivier Reb