What do you plan on doing with music in the future?
I plan on working as a professional musician, collaboration with the international musician
Anything else you would like to add?
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1997, Reyharp or Reyhan Naufal is one of the young shooting stars emerging on the contemporary harmonica scene. Reyharp plays blues and jazz on the diatonic harp with a maturity and assurance which belies his years and astonished listeners at the prestigious Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival 2012, where he won the diatonic contest in the face of stiff competition. Reyharp is a promising man in harmonica world.
He first started playing harmonica when he chanced upon a HOHNER Blues Harp, lying in his uncle’s cupboard. The unique form of the little instrument exerted a powerful fascination on the young Reyharp and he felt instantly drawn to it. He soon started learning to play the blues with his uncle as well as developing his musical talents by studying jazz on his own.
Reyharp proved to be a quick learner and he now plays the diatonic harmonica chromatically through the use of controlled bending and overbending. Despite his youth, he has already gathered considerable musical experience and has performed numerous live gigs as well as appearing on concert stages and winning several awards, local and international.
Reyharp was very like to all kinds of music. He played all kinds of jazz styles,such as swing,be bop,latin,and contemporary styles. He also endorsed by the largest harmonica company in the world,Hohner Harmonica, which he became the youngest endorse.
2010: English First Indonesia Got Talent, Jakarta, Indonesia
2011: 1st place Annual Performance Art Contest, Junmior high School, Jakarta
2012: 1st place Asia Pacific Harmonica Championship, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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It hasn’t been long since harmonica player Yvonnick Prené’s last release – he made his debut just under a year ago with “Jour de Fête” in March 2013 – but that hasn’t stopped the New York based musician from heading back into the studio to produce yet another outstanding project. And so, it is with absolute pleasure that we introduce you to “Wonderful World”, the latest release from Yvonnick Prené and Padam Swing.
“Wonderful World,” Yvonnick Prené’s sophomore record, was released in December 2013 and it features a new side of the up and coming artist as part of the group Padam Swing. While “Jour de Fête”, his debut project, showcases Prené’s talents as a jazz harmonica player, “Wonderful World” pays homage to the gypsy jazz style and it’s clear that the artist feels quite at home in the two genres.
The album commences with “Coquette”, a jazz and gypsy standard composed by Johnny Green and Carmen Lombardo in 1928. The tune is the perfect introduction to the release and sets the tone for the heartfelt ballads, standards, and jazz manouche style works that make up “Wonderful World.”
The title track, “What a Wonderful World”, showcases Prené as part of an intimate arrangement that, along with Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” and Charles Mingus’ “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love” make up the beautifully performed ballads from the album.
“La Valse d’Amy”, an original composition penned by Prené is probably one of my favorite tracks from the album. It is the epitome of the French music styles that have pervaded the Paris streets since the jazz manouche style began to establish its roots under Django Reinhardt in the 1930s.
The other tracks on the album vary from the Latin-infused “Desafinado” to Coltrane’s “Pent-Up House” and Reinhardt’s “Troublant Bolero”. The songs are certainly diverse, but it makes the project a captivating and intriguing listen from start to finish.
Overall, this is an excellent project and highly recommended. A few of the tracks from Yvonnick Prene’s “Wonderful World” are definitely in my “favorites” playlist.
The group, Padam Swing, is comprised of Scott Tixier on violin, Michael Valeanu on guitar, Lorin Cohen on bass and Yvonnick Prené on harmonica. You can read our interview with Yvonnick Prené here as well as our review of his first album, “Jour de Fête.”
Title: Wonderful World Artist: Yvonnick Prené & Padam Swing Date: December 16, 2013 Genre: Gypsy Jazz Label: Yvonnick Prené
02 What a Wonderful World
04 La Valse d’Amy
06 Shape of My Heart
07 Troublant Bolero
08 All of Me
09 Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love
10 The Swimmer
11 Pent-Up House
Parisian harmonica player Yvonnick Prené recently released his debut album as a solo artist (March 2013) and in just over a month, the album has already earned considerable success and recognition amongst jazz fans and critics.
Jour de Fête, Prené’s début release, is a collection of seven original compositions and four jazz covers. It features Prené on harmonica alongside Michael Valeanu and Isaac Darche on guitar, Javi Santiago on piano, Or Bareket and Phil Donkin on bass, Jesse Simpson and Owen Erickson on Drums.
Jour de Fête not only showcases Prené’s talent as a player, but he also shines as an up and coming composer with this project. Drawing inspiration from his influences such as Stevie Wonder, Toots Thielemans, and Gregoire Maret as well as his life in New York, Yvonnick adds his own voice to the jazz genre with his reflective compositions and unique approach to the harmonica. As he said in the liner notes of the album, “Each song is an echo of my experiences living in New York City for the past four years and reflects the varied influences of music that inspire me, including jazz, Hip Hop and Brazilian music. My vision for this debut album is to take the harmonica into uncharted territories, expose it to challenging situations, and in the process create something pleasing for the ears.”
The album opens with “Obsessions,” an original by Prené said to reflect his “continuous quest to perfect music and to achieve fearlessness as a soloist and composer.” Following the opening track is “Thais” and Jay Livingston’s and Ray Evans’ “Never Let Me Go.” John Coltrane’s “Satellite” is fourth on the album and is a great homage to the legendary saxophonist.
“As Night Falls,” the fifth track on the album features a melodic exchange between Yvonnick on harmonica and Isaac Darche on guitar with solos by Or Bareket and Yvonnick.
After “As Night Falls” is Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma,” and then Prené’s “Home.”
My favorite song from the album, “A Billion Stars,” features a catchy piano riff, the voice of Ray Bradbury (the song is a tribute to the great Science Fiction writer), and intricate yet excellently performed solos from Yvonnick and Javo Santiago (piano).
To close out the album is Jerome Kern’s “Nobody Else But Me,” and two more original, “Escale” and “Jour de Fête.”
In a genre where saxophonists, pianists and guitarists dominate, it’s refreshing to hear this relatively uncommon instrument. Yvonnick Prené’s performance and compositional styles are most definitely a welcome addition to our album shelves. We absolutely recommend this album.
Prené began playing the diatonic harmonica at the age of 8, and at 17 switched to the chromatic harmonica after hearing Charlie Parker to delve into the jazz realm. He has since earned a Master’s degree in Music and Research at the Sorbonne University as well as numerous awards.
Since, he has moved to Brooklyn, New York where he opened the New York Harmonica School. The NY Harmonica School aims to provide harmonica players of all levels with a place to learn and jam together, get constructive feedback on their playing and meet in a friendly atmosphere.
Yvonnick Prené has had the opportunity to record and perform with musicians such as Manu Katche, Nate Smith, Ira Coleman, Ben Street, Laurent de Wilde, Alexandre Tassel Dave Glasser, and more. Read our interview with him here.
Name: Yvonnick Prene Location: New York/Paris Profession: Musician Years Playing: 20 School/Major/Degree: Paris Sorbonne University, Music Research MM, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music BA
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BEGIN SERIOUSLY STUDYING YOUR INSTRUMENT?
When I was 17, I started playing the chromatic harmonica. Prior to that, I studied classical guitar at the conservatory in France and sporadically played diatonic blues harmonica.
WHO ARE YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCES?
Difficult question. Sugar Blue was the first harmonica player that I heard that really made me want to play harmonica. I was 7 or 8 years old. Later on, I would say my greatest influences (the people that I have the most carefully listened to and transcribed) are: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Kenny Garrett, Herbie Hancock, Lester Young, Django Reinhardt, Toots Thielemans, Freddie Hubbard, Shirley Horn, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Mark Turner, Wayne Shorter, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Hays, Gregoire Maret, Seamus Blake, Joshua Redman, Peter Bernstein, and Olvier Ker Ourio.
WHO DID YOU STUDY WITH?
While I was at The New School, I had the chance to study with Lee Konitz, Reggie Workman, Charles Persip, Peter Bernstein, Ben Street, Aaron Goldberg, Jerome Sabbagh, Andy Milne, Kevin Hays, Dave Glasser and Jane Ira Bloom. They really inspired me practice consistently and play to the best of my ability.
WHO OR WHAT GAVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE TO PURSUE MUSIC AS A CAREER?
I think it is my inextinguishable love for music that pushes me in spite of all the obstacles that I have encountered. I just love to play on stage for a crowd. And without a doubt, I also find inspiration in the excitement that is triggered when I am discovering new things, while setting original projects for myself, and the overall the feeling that one can improve everyday as a musician.
DO YOU THINK ANY OTHER SKILLS ARE NEEDED ASIDE FROM THE ABILITY TO PLAY? YOUR INSTRUMENT WELL?
It takes determination and courage. When I came to New York on an exchange program with Sorbonne University in Paris, and The City College, I realized very soon that I was not at the same level as the New York musicians. I was certainly discouraged first. So, I then said goodbye to my illusions and embraced the tough realities. At this turning point I had the chance to meet up with Ben Street and Jerome Sabbagh whom were honest with me and pointed out my weaknesses. They gave me new directions and hope. Eager to learn, I started with a fresh perspective and went back to the woodshed with a healthier approach. I spent literally two years in the practice rooms, working on my musicianship, transcribing and learning tunes. It was not always easy to get in a lot of work by yourself, when your friends were out having fun and you wanted to be with them. I made sacrifices.
Moreover, I would say love, friendship, and kindness are essential too. I believe human qualities will nurture your music. People skills are as important as being able to play your instrument. You have to be a trustworthy person so bandleaders can have confidence in you. It means you need to act as a gentleman, be punctual, and thank the fans and people who are supporting your projects. Also being humble and knowing your weaknesses helps.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU DID BEFORE YOUR CAREER AS A PERFORMER BECAME AS SUCCESSFUL AS IT IS TODAY?
I did several things before getting 100% into music. After High School I studied History at Sorbonne University in Paris for a bit. At the same time I worked different day jobs. Then, later on, I registered for the Music Research Department where I studied with pianist and arranger Laurent Cuny. I ended up writing a 150 pages thesis on Lee Kontiz in 2011. In New York, I was an intern at Universal Music at Decca for 6 months while studying at The New School. I used to give French lessons also…
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR GOALS MUSICALLY FOR THE FUTURE?
My new cd “Jour de Fête” was just released on March 10th. It has received positive reviews and has been chosen Revelation 2013 by Jazz Magazine-Jazzman, France.
These days I am writing music for two projects that I am proud of. First, my gypsy jazz quartet “Padam Swing”. Our first album is being prepared now. We should be heading in the studio beginning of July. My second project Yvonnick Prene Quintet is a continuation of “Jour de Fete“. We have a tour schedule in France next October.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER AS A PERFORMER/RECORDING ARTIST?
The money. Just kidding…
DO YOU WRITE MUSIC? WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
Most of the time I write when I hear a few notes or a rhythmic idea pop into my head. Usually it happens when I am by myself walking in the city or in the Subway. Melodies come more naturally when I am outdoors. I can get really inspired away from home even in a crowded street or in a noisy bar. That’s why I carry a little Sony recorder in my pocket, so I can record myself singing. At the source, inspiration comes from your musical influences, your own taste and your feelings at any given moment, the sounds of your city or nature, and more generally your environment.
WHAT WAS YOUR LAMEST GIG AND HOW DID YOU LEARN FROM IT? WHAT WAS THE BEST?
My worst gigs are usually when a server told me that the manager in charge to give the band the check at the end of the night has already left the club.
The best gig was in Los Angeles last year when I played the “Sorcerer” in front of Herbie Hancock (he composed the piece). Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heat and Kenny Burrell were also present in the room. It was intense!
HOBBIES OTHER THAN MUSIC:
Reading novels and essays. I always carry a kindle with me during the day wherever I go. I also like working out at the gym, running and swimming.
WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE FOR AN UP AND COMING, YOUNG MUSICIAN?
Practice, be curious and strongly believe in yourself.
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