Didier Squiban

Brittany, jazz country

Picture 1 Didier Squiban

Exquisite – that’s all we can say to describe the artist Didier Squiban, intricately weaving together the threads of Breton music, jazz and symphonic sound. From the island of Molène to the Iroise Sea, this is a harmonic journey that leaves us with images we will never forget.

Ploudalmézeau, the name of his native Finistère village, is a poem in itself. Add into the mix the island of Molène, home of his ancestors, and we come closer to understanding Didier Squiban’s taste for symphonic jaunts.

Influenced by Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, since 1995 we have grown to expect this composer and pianist to lead us off to discover imaginary and harmonic kingdoms of jazz, dream worlds influenced by Breton music. A classical music veering away from the ordinary, he can tinkle the ivories and creates images of the Iroise… A unique panorama which has even won over the Orchestre de Bretagne, who have included his symphonies in their repertoire.

Painting the picture

Brilliantly Breton, of course, but Didier Squiban also uses a more universal spectrum of sounds. These same colours have made him a permanent fixture at Breton festivals, as well as a regular at the Interceltic Festival in Lorient, where he often tries out his new material. As a solo pianist or in eye-catching collaborations with Dan Ar Braz or Yann-Fanch Kemener, this chameleon artist can adapt to suit the mood of the moment, from aimless wanderings to poised for flight.

And if he sees another string that he could add to his already heavy-laden (rain)bow, Didier Squiban never shies away from a challenge: in 2008, he braved an electro adventure with the group Sheer-K. And so Mesk was born, a subtle blend – as explosive as it is extraordinary – of Celtic jazz and electro hip-hop. The future’s looking bright…