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JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER was born in 1943 during an air raid alarm in Bécon-les-Bruyères.
Self-taught, he began playing the piano at the age of 18, then arranging for Michel Magne and Alice Dona, his first notions of orchestration taken from the books of the "Que sais-je ?" collection.
He soon became arranger for numerous french artists : Barbara ("Madame"), Gilbert Bécaud ("M. Winter"), Jane Birkin (the album "Di Doo Dah"), Julien Clerc (the album "Terre de France"), Serge Gainsbourg ("La décadanse", the album "Melody Nelson"), Johnny Hallyday ("Que je t'aime"), Michel Legrand ("Un été 42, "Le messager"), Claude Nougaro ("Dansez sur moi", "Sœur Ame"), Michel Polnareff ("Nous irons tous au paradis", "Tous les bateaux"), Véronique Sanson ("Je les hais", "St Lazare"), Sylvie Vartan ("La Maritza") as well as Bashung, Mike Brandt, Carlos, Dalida, Yves Duteil, Carole Laure, Enrico Macias, Astor Piazzola, Elis Régina, Mort Shuman, Martial Solal, Maurane « Juste une petite fille » « Fais moi l’Homme » , Pascal Obispo...
He has composed successful songs for many of them, including "Super nana" for Michel Jonasz, "Branche cassée" for Françoise Hardy, "Melody Nelson" for Serge Gainsbourg, "C'est la vie qui veut ça" for Jane Birkin, "La drague" for Guy Bedos, "Insomnie", "Plume d'ange" for Claude Nougaro, and ballets for Roland Petit...
He has been invited to conduct orchestras in various countries (Brazil, Japan, Algeria, Zaire, Yugoslavia, Poland, Italy, Spain, Canada, England...)
He has worked for the cinema, collaborating in several movie soundtracks including : "Les guichets du Louvre" by Michel Mitrani, "La horse" by Pierre Granier Deferre , "Paris nous appartient" by Robert Benayoun, "Slogan" by Pierre Grimblat and composing those for "Projection privée" by François Leterrier, "L'amour propre" by Martin Veyron, "La nuit tous les chats sont gris" by Gérard Zingg, "Comédie d'été" by Daniel Vigne, several movie musics for the Philippe Garrel...
Other than music, he has successively tried his hand at water colour painting (Windsor and Newton Award 1984) exhibiting at the Paris Autumn Salon, journalism (writer for Les Nouvelles Littéraires, Glamour and Le Journal Littéraire), the radio (about funny art fakes, gardening and cooking shows for France Culture) and directed a video for Maruschka Detmers.
In December 1989 he took part in the conception of Véronique Sanson’s show with the Prague Symphonic Orchestra, at Paris Châtelet Theatre.
In 1990 he published his first collection of short stories "Le club des inconsolables (The Club of the Inconsolable)" (Published by Fixot), wrote the soundtrack for Jean-Louis Leconte’s film "Bienvenue à bord" and the lyrics for five songs in Julien Clerc’s penultimate album "Petits pois lardons", "Gare à la casse" etc.
On his own Jean-Claude Vannier has recorded six albums of songs; each release has been played live : Campagne Première (1978), Ranelagh (1979), Théâtre de la Ville (1981-1986), Theatre Dejazet (1987), Trottoirs de Buenos Aires (1988), Auditorium des Halles (1992). Theatre des Abbesses (1999) Maroquinerie, 2001
-In 2001 Universal re-release of instrumental album “JC Vannier interprète Georges Brassens” .The original LP was a gift to Georges for his 50th birthday.
-In 2003 CD release by Night & Day of “L’enfant assassin des mouches”, instrumental album recorded in 1973, which inspired Serge Gainsbourg to write a crual tale (UK release on february sortie 2005 on the Finders Keepers record label with oustanding quotes from Jarvis Cocker, Jim O’Rourke, David Holmes, Tim Gane, Andy Votel) .
-In 2005, release on Night & Day of double albuum « En public » (CD release of
« Dejazet » live performance recorded in 1987) « & Fait Maison » (new songs recorded at home).
In October 2006, on the stage of London’s Barbican Center, “l’Enfant Assassin des Mouches and “Melody Nelson” with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Crouch Festival Choir, legendary musicians, like Herbie Flowers, Big Jim Sullivan, Vic Flick, Dougie Wright, and famous soloists, as Jarvis Cocker, Brigitte Fontaine, Michel Musseau, Mick Harvey, and others.
2007: “Martial Solal play Michel Magne”, an adventurous jazz orchestral CD, arranged by JC Vannier when he was 23.
“L’Orchestre d’Enfants”, a musical story on CD wrote by Jean Claude, played and told by children orchestra and actors from Parisians schools and conservatories.
In October 2008, “l’Enfant assassin des Mouches and “Melody Nelson” show was played again at Paris’s Cité de la Musique, with l’Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, le Jeune Choeur de Paris, prestigious French and English soloists.
Film “Leur morale et la notre”, directed by Florence Quentin, music by Jean Claude
Film “La Frontière de l’aube”, directed by Philippe Garrel, music by Jean Claude
2009, show written and conducted at Sao Paulo, with the “Imperial Orkestra”, won the “best show of the year in Brazil” price.
2010 solo show “Alone with my toys”, in Lausanne (Schwitzerland), at piano, toy piano, recorders, percussions, guitar dobro, accordion, Fisher-Price-deck and a lot of other toys.