Praised for his improvisations, pianist and composer Jean-Michel Pilc has performed with numerous jazz giants. He worked with Harry Belafonte as his musical director and pianist and performed a duet with the legendary opera singer Jessye Norman.
An active solo performer, who’s appeared in concert internationally, Jean-Michel has released four critically-acclaimed solo piano records: Follow Me (2004), Essential (2011), What Is This Thing Called? (2015), and his solo double CD, Parallel (2018). Jean-Michel Pilc recently joined the roster of Justin Time Records. His next release, in March 2021, will be an EP compiled from singles to be released throughout the 2020-21 season.
Jean-Michel Pilc performs magic as an improvising soloist, and as a leader of jazz trios. During his Improvisation Workshop Project (IWP), he shares the art of improvisation with musicians of all improvisatory backgrounds in a collaborative, enchanting process.
Programmes and projects
Based in Montreal, Canada, the Improv Workshop Project (IWP) brings together musicians of all backgrounds and experience levels (students and professional musicians, jazz and classical) to explore the tradition of jazz as “improvised chamber music” based on collective improvisation. Weekly playing sessions assemble different casts of musicians to try new ideas and interpret new material brought by project lead Jean-Michel Pilc, team members Rémi Bolduc and Kevin Dean, and other participants.
The IWP is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC).
Jean-Michel Pilc moves beyond our expectations of what jazz can offer, enthralling the audience with his mad-dash, visceral improvised performances.
Cole Birney-Stewart (double bass) and Michel Lambert (drums) join Jean-Michel Pilc to explore the diverse forms and colours of jazz.
“Whether improvising freely or applying himself to the most well-known of jazz standards, the French-born pianist ... is guaranteed to stimulate with the brilliance of his creativity and instrumental ability.”
— Peter Hum,
“This music was so intuitively crafted, it would have been virtually impossible to tell it was off-the-cuff, had Pilc not announced it from the stage.”
— Daniel J. Kushner,
“There may be no more diverse, unpredictable jazz piano player, song to song, than Jean-Michel Pilc.”
— Thomas Conrad,