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Jean-Paul Bourelly | USA

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Born in Chicago, Bourelly's strongest impressions of the city include two formative experiences: inadvertently stumbling upon a Muddy Waters sound check outside a club; the second, playing Carlos Santana style hard rock of his first grade school band. From this perspective, his musical language began to form, blending a Haitian-American upbringing of meringue and voodoo, roots music against the backdrop of the Windy City's soulful southside - freedom (with notes), but who were really coming from a hard-edged, city blues, acid sound.I experimented with this sound, once I got it, it was time to move on.


Bourelly moved to New York in 1979, one year later, at the age of 19, he landed a feature role on the Muhal Richard Abrams release of Blues Forever (Down Beat Record of the Year), followed by stints with the legendary drummers Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones and saxophone visionary Pharoah Sanders. The word spread quickly around the jazz community, creating many recording opportunities. They include Georges That Old Feeling (Bluenote) and Cassandra Wilson Point of View. In the years that followed he would gain a reputation as one of the boldest of his genre, stamping his claim on a distinctive, psychedelic jazz sound that prompted a prestigious association to Miles Davis(Amandla Warner Bros..)
and would lead to his being a source of real inspiration and influence for several movements, among them the Black Rock Coalition and the burgeoning M-base crowd.
While on the rock scene he has received praise from legendary drummer Buddy Miles, shared album credits with Robin Trower(Guitar Speak II I.R.S); Rod Steward (Hendrix Tribute France); sharing the stage with Jack Bruce and Terry Bozio(Stuttargt Germany) ,produced and featured with the European rock band Matalex. Since then those who have experienced his futuristic funky guitar world have been a multifaceted array of musicians such as Pee Wee Ellis & The JB Horns, Steve Coleman, Defunkt, Geri Allen, Graham Haynes, Marc Ribot, Meshell N'Degocello, Triluk Gurtu, and Dennis Chambers.


Bourelly's greatest fame to this point has been overseas. His guitar sound is dichte and rauhe (dense and raw) from Germany, heavy, powerful, violent and beautiful says Yoriko Kawachi in Japan. Trippin', Bourelly's last domestic release from 1991, while receiving unanimous praise in the U.S. from People magazine (searing intensity), Entertainment Weekly (warm and snarling), and the New York Times(propulsive) was subsequently voted No.1 Record of the Year by the critics at Music Magazine in Japan. Most recently the 1996 release of Rock the Cathartic Spirits (D.I.W.) has again ranked high with the critics overseas, receiving the "No. 1 Record of the Year statues from the noted Japanese journalist Mark Rappaport and No. 2 Record of the Year overall at Music Magazine.

Lately Bourelly has initiated a series of challenging projects featured on some of Europes most important festivals, collaborating with similarly free thinking guitarist such as Vernon Reid(Reid/Bourelly Project), Mark Ribot, David Torn and Elliott Sharp (duo) and in 1996,introducing an exciting new group and concept under his leadership African Boom Bop featuring Senegalese giot singer and drummer Abdourahman Diop and percussionist Mino Cinelu, Bourelly has carving out a conceptual and philosophical frame work for each The BluWave Bandits
This synthesis of stylistic elements was once called a blue wave by a French journalist and in doing so created the name of Bourellys band (the BluWave Bandits). Since the late 80s keyboardist-rapper, the every hyper Kundalini Mark Batson (of Get Set V.O.P.), Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones), Melvin Gibbs (of Henry Rollins Band), Reggie Washington, drummers Alfredo Alias and Will Calhoun (of Living Colour) at different times make up the alliance of exceptional musicians that are known as the BluWave Bandits. 

Currently - JPB lives most of the time in Berlin with his family, but works both in europe and the americas. He has recently (1999) visited The Dominican Republic.