Passion Ignited: Inside the World of Les Allumés du Jazz

A Small-Town Concert Leads to a Jazz Revolution

In 1977, a small village in Sarthe, Chantenay-Villedieu, became the birthplace of Les Allumés du Jazz – a passionate association and festival dedicated to avant-garde jazz. The event was organized by Jean Rochard, who was born in the village on April 1st, 1957. Over the years, the festival has grown from a local gathering to an influential force for European and American avant-garde jazz music.

Jean Rochard’s Label nato: A Platform for Unique Artists

In 1980, Rochard founded his own label, nato, which has gone on to host nearly 200 references. Some of the noteworthy artists who have graced its catalog include Catherine Delaunay and resident pianist Tony Hymas. On special occasions, the audience at nato events is treated to unique performances like François Corneloup’s group Le Peuple Etincelle, which combines jazz with dancing.

Les Allumés du Jazz – United by Passion and Creativity

  • An association based on principles and shared goals
  • A collective mindset for jazz lovers and creators
  • Fostering connectivity between producers, musicians, and studios

The idea behind Les Allumés du Jazz started in a small Chinese restaurant in Belleville, Paris. According to Rochard, the association aims to be a space where everyone can bring their questions and anxieties, including employees Clémence and Aurel.

With his vast memory of jazz history, Rochard recalled how the association began as a way to distribute funds from the Ministry of Culture. The ministry had earmarked some money for jazz record productions that were often overlooked, and rather than fight amongst themselves for the limited resources, these like-minded individuals decided to band together.

Today, Les Allumés du Jazz boasts about a hundred members, including classic producers, musicians, festivals, and studios who have launched their own record labels. The central question they all collectively explore is “Recording music, for what purpose?”

The Fire in Les Allumés – Championing the Unique Atmosphere of Jazz Music

Les Allumés – which translates to “enthusiasts” – is an organization that truly embodies the spirit of spontaneous energy and creativity inherent in jazz music. Fueled by passion and collaboration, the movement represents an alliance between water and fire, described as a tireless pursuit to “rekindle the stars“. Inspired by Guillaume Apollinaire’s famous line, this vision captures both the disorder and the joy embedded deep within jazz.

Tackling Challenges Head-On and Embracing Collaboration

  • Pooling resources to create bigger platforms for independent jazz creations
  • Shifting priorities from individual projects to collective enrichment
  • Bridging gaps between different aspects of the jazz industry

In an industry notorious for fragmentation and individualism, Les Allumés du Jazz has managed to carve out an essential space for artists and other industry professionals to come together. The organization connects people who are deeply committed to pushing the boundaries of jazz and ensuring its continued presence on the global cultural stage.

A Contemporary Revival: Keeping the Flame Alive in Modern Jazz

Despite the many challenges facing jazz in today’s ever-changing music market, Les Allumés du Jazz continues to be a thriving hub where artists, studio heads, producers, and fans can gather together in pursuit of their shared passions.

  • Create opportunities for exposure through events and festivals
  • Build an extensive network within the industry to provide resources and support
  • Keep the spirit of avant-garde and experimental jazz alive

Rochard’s dedication and tireless enthusiasm have helped to sustain Les Allumés du Jazz through changing times. By creating spaces for collaboration, fostering unity among different segments of the industry, and championing innovative sounds, the organization has become a beacon for those looking to rekindle the fire that fuels modern jazz.