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Jazz Festival > Program > MONCEF GENOUD & FRIENDS

Friday, March 15, 2024 ● AASSM Small Hall ● 20.30
Moncef Genoud, piano
Timothy Verdesca, bass
Cyril Regamey, drums
Born in 1961 in Tunis, Tunisia, Moncef was blind at birth. Flown to Switzerland to receive treatment on his eyes at the age of two, he was adopted by a Swiss family shortly after. At six he began to take piano lessons, strongly encouraged by his adoptive father, a Jazz enthusiast who would often play records by Louis Armstrong or Fats Waller at the family’s house. Blessed with a remarkable auditory memory that allowed him to learn and replicate any piece by ear, Moncef started to develop his own style. In 1987 he obtained a music teacher’s degree from the Conservatory in Geneva.
A professional musician since 1983, Moncef quickly asserted himself as one of Switzerland’s leading Jazz artists, thanks in part to the body of work he assembled with his Trio. In the course of his career he has played with the likes of Bob Berg, Alvin Queen, Reggie Johnson, Harold Danko, John Stubblefield, Joe LaBarbera, Michael Brecker, Larry Grenadier, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bill Stewart, Idris Muhammad, James Cammack, Jack DeJohnette, Scott Colley, and Grégoire Maret, among many others.
The 1990’s saw him tour all of Europe as well as India, Australia, Africa, Japan, the United States, and Canada as a headliner. In 1994 he delighted the audience at the Vancouver and Montreal Jazz Festivals with brilliant performances. The following year he performed in Africa, where he and Youssou N’Dour became close friends. The two have since played together on numerous occasions, developing a new African-Jazz sound, and were the main protagonists in the acclaimed 2006 documentary entitled “Return to Gorée” (CAB Productions). The project followed several musicians as they travelled the route of West-African slaves from Senegal to the United States, while revisiting the musical evolution from Negro spirituals to Gospel to Jazz along the way.
Since then, Moncef has continued to grow and build his own catalogue, recording with formations ranging from the duet to the sextet, to even the symphonic orchestra. He lists Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and Brad Mehldau as his influences, and according to multiple media outlets, he has joined some of these illustrious names as one of the major Jazz pianists of this generation.
2005 was a turning point in Moncef’s career, as he signed an exclusive recording, publishing, and management deal with Los Angeles-based Rollin’ Dice Productions. His first project for Rollin’ Dice was “Aqua,” Moncef’s 10th studio album. It brought together an impressive line-up consisting of Moncef, Grammy Award® winners Michael Brecker and Dee Dee Bridgewater, along with Bill Stewart, and Scott Colley. The project, recorded in New York City, was produced by C.Chill, who has been Moncef’s producer ever since. It demonstrated the level of Moncef’s maturity as a Jazz composer, arranger and performer.
Dubbed his most ambitious record to date, “Aqua” was released in the U.S. by legendary label Savoy Jazz. The record was praised unanimously by the most highly regarded U.S., Japanese, and European Jazz publications, and proved a major step in developing Moncef’s already growing popularity. In the years that followed, Moncef played at some of the most distinguished venues in the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival (in 2007 with the “Return to Gorée” All-Stars and again in 2008 as a solo), the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Dizzy’s/Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the International Festival in Carthage, Tunisia, the Cully Jazz Festival, the Opera House in Damascus, Syria (as part of a UNHCR humanitarian project benefitting refugees), and the Victoria Hall in Geneva, where he shared top-billing with Brad Mehldau and Anouar Brahem. The next decade saw Moncef release five albums: “Métissage” (with singular arrangements of Jazz classics intertwined with Moncef’s melancholic compositions and a new collaboration with Youssou N’Dour); “Pop Songs” (his 12th album as a leader, marking an interesting and playful departure from Genoud’s traditional jazz trio sound); “Live in Cully” (his first solo album); “Walk With Me” (in duet with long-time friend and bass player Ivor Malherbe); and “Concert de Valère” (his second solo album, released in Japan by Muzak).
To highlight his return to the forefront after the pandemic that put on hold the entire music scene – and his own career – for the better part of two years, Moncef gave a solo performance at the Crans-Montana Classics in September 2022. Released in January 2023 under the title of “Introspection,” the album is a deeply moving, intimate reflection on his time during the Covid years. Six months later, Moncef Genoud returned in trio formation with his album “Small Stories”, a collection of tunes of his own composition that he and bandmates Tim Verdesca (bass) and Cyril Regamey (drums) crafted at his Geneva studio.
Now in his sixties, Moncef displays both the maturity of his age and a youthful thirst for new musical explorations that mirror his own unique and exciting life journey. He humbly invites his listeners along for the ride.
Trained at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne and son of a jazz trumpeter father, Tim Verdesca is a very active musician and producer on the Swiss scene. Whether alongside renowned jazz artists (Moncef Genoud, François Lindemann, La Fanfare du Loup) or in current music projects (Anach Cuan, Sophie De Quay, Jackson Wahengo, Alejandro Reyes), Tim Verdesca has performed on a multitude of stages such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Paléo, the Caribana, Le Caprice, the Arena de Genève, Rock Oz’sArènes, Le Chant du Gros, Sion Guinness Irish Festival, the Stade de Suisse (NRJ MUSIC AIR), the Cully Jazz Festival, the AMR, the Chorus, Le Sunset/Sunside, Bird’s Eye, le Singe, le Frisson, la Case à Chocs, the HIFA Festival and even the Swiss pavilion at EXPO MILAN 2015.
His activities as a performer have led him to travel in Switzerland and almost all of Europe, in Tunisia alongside Moncef Genoud, in Morocco with François Lundemann and Abdellah Yaakoubi within a crossover project between jazz and Aïssaoua culture , in Lebanon and Jordan with the Fanfare du Loup Orchestra for the Global Week of Syria, in Zimbabwe with Jackson Wahengo during the HIFA Festival and in Asia through China, Japan, Singapore and India with Sophie de Quay during a 17 date tour. As passionate about the fusion of the arts as about the exchange of cultures, sharing and human relations, this musician has participated in several creations and theatre shows - such as: “Le jazz de Matisse (neither flowers nor crowns)” presented at the Montreux Jazz Festival under the direction of François Lindemann (directed by Adrien Barrazone) as well as “Lysistrata” and “Une Femme Seul”, presented by the “Fictive” troupe at the Aurillac festival.
You will also have seen him alongside prestigious musicians such as Moncef Genoud, Guillaume Perret, François Lindemann, Baiju Bhat, David Tixier, Matthias Ruppnig, Gerry Lopez, Raphaël Nick, Bodo Maier, Alberto Garcia, Cyril Regammey, Arthur Hnatek, Rene Mosele, Francesco, Geminiani, Benoît Corboz, Daniel Verdesca, Maxence Sibille, Jean-Lou Treboux, Matthieu Llodra, Valentin Lichti, Thomas Florin, Jackson Wahengo, Manuel Gesseney, Cyril Moulas, Nathan Bonjour and Stanislaw Slowinski.
Tim Verdesca is a producer/arranger/composer for his personal projects but also for a good number of artists, to whom he lends his services and his artistic vision. For example, Anach Cuan’s latest EP and Moncef Genoud’s live CD were mixed by him.
On a more personal level, it is with his project TIM V // Berlin Suite that you will be able to hear him. This quintet brings together musicians who met in Berlin during a 6-month stay and together, they invite you to travel through different soundscapes and other impressionist atmospheres to help you (re)discover the German capital from a very particular and personal angle. Recently, this Berlin Suite was performed with the Nexus classical orchestra in arrangements by Alexandre Mastrangelo, during a live RTS recording from the Paderewsky room at the Casino de Mont-Benon in Lausanne.
Currently, Tim Verdesca is developing a SLAP BASS GROOVE teaching method in the form of YouTube tutorials as part of his Masters in Jazz Pedagogy at the University of Arts in Ber which he is currently completing. 



MONCEF GENOUD & FRIENDS - Program - Jazz Festival | İKSEV - İzmir Foundation For Culture Arts And Education