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english biography | jean-michel kajdan

english biography

Biography (english version) :

Born in 1954 in Paris, guitarist Jean-Michel Kajdan is one of the exponents of an electric guitar style that has breathed new life into the « Strat » as a jazz instrument.

Fed on the British Blues of the likes of Eric Clapton and Peter Green and spiced with the grooves of Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix, this self taught musician developed for himself a distinctive modern rock style while playing in local Parisian bands. His discovery of BB King and later Wes Montgommery led him towards a jazzier blues all of his own.

Jean-Michel Kajdan issued his first album « First Step » in 1979 with Manu Katché, which also gave him his first single « Melissa ».

This succes brought him to feature in the live line-ups of numerous prominent artists : Jacques Higelin, Michel Jonasz (Amnesty International Concert), Eddy Mitchell, Catherine Lara, Tommy Snyder, Enzo-Enzo, Maurane to name a few. He also recorded with friend Eric Serra doing the soundtracks for the movies « Subway », « Kamikaze », & « The Big Blue ». As a live performer his experience of 4 years of worldwide tours with Didier Lockwood give him wider recognition. And the list of recording « friends » continues to grow : Tony Williams, Jan Hammer, Bob Malach (USA), Gerry Brown, David Sancious (USA), Alfonso Johnson (USA), Babik Reinhardt, Barry Finnerty, Abraham Laboriel, Steve Gadd, Max Middleton (UK), Toots Thielmans (Belgium), NHOP (Denmark), John Mc Laughlin (UK), Gordon Beck (UK), André Ceccarelli, Eric Seva, Dee Dee Bridgwater (USA), Fabienne Thibeault (Canada), trio Catherine-Escoudé-Lockwood…cemented his position as a studio artist, producer and composer.

Jean-Michel Kajdan is an experienced and highly entertaining player and composer whose work is immediately accessible to any jazz, rock, and blues lover. In 1997, further to his performances on tour with Lionel Richie (for TV & radio) & Omar Hakim on drums, Jean Michel toured with Eddy Mitchell and Eddie Louiss. During the summer, Jean Michel played with Larry Carlton at the Montreux Jazz Festival. In october 98, Richard Gotainer invited him to play in his latest « unplugged » show at the Européen Theatre in Paris. In 1999, Jean-Michel goes to movie music and composes the tracks of the first film directed by Bruno Garcia « Trait d’Union » (with François Berléand and Guillaume Canet). Then, he composes the music from the cartoon « Wild Instinct » directed by Philippe Leclerc and difused on many european channels in 2000 (BBC, RTL TV…etc). In 2001, Bruno Garcia asked him to compose for his new film « 8, rue Charlot » (with Maïwenn and Bruno Solo).

In 2003, Jean-Michel Kajdan performed wiht Gaïa, in Switzerland with Jeremy Spencer (Fleetwood Mac), John Helliwell and Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) and produced the first album of the singer/songwriter SKYE « Impressionnable » and in 2006, her new album « Appaloosa » which will release in march 2007.

In 2008, André Soulies introduces him to Jim McCarty et Chris Dreja, back to British Blues. Jean-Michel will be The Yardbirds’s guest all along their french tour.

In 2011, Jean-Michel set a new line up : the « Kajdan Rough Trio » with Laurent David on bass and Jean-Christophe Calvet on drums.

The first album of Kajdan Rough Trio « In a New Light » released in march 2013. The artist Acko made an original painting for the cover.

Then came ON/OFF the second album, released in 2015.

French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti honoured Jean-Michel as « Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres » in january 2013.
Then 7 years later, french Culture Minister Franck Riester honoured Jean-Michel as « Officier des Arts et des Lettres » in january 2020.