Violinist plays in Silves.jpg

Violinist plays in Silves

Considered one of the best jazz violinists in the world, Jean-Luc Ponty will perform tomorrow (Saturday) at Silves Castle from 10pm.

His father taught violin, his mother taught piano and at 16 he was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, graduating two years later with the institution’s highest award, Premier Prix.

He was immediately hired by one of the major symphony orchestras, Concerts Lamoureux, where he played for three years.

While still a member of the orchestra in Paris, he picked up a side gig playing clarinet (which his father had taught him) for a college jazz band that regularly performed at local parties.

It proved a life-changing jumping-off point. A growing interest in the jazz sounds of Miles Davis and John Coltrane compelled him to take up the tenor saxophone.

In 2006, Jean-Luc Ponty reunited with his band and toured in the USA, Chile, Venezuela, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, The Middle East and India.

They also recorded a new studio album called The Atacama Experience with guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Philip Catherine appearing on a few tracks.

This new CD was released in June 2007 in the US and Europe, and received four stars in the US jazz magazine Down Beat as well as raving reviews internationally.