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Tam De Villers


Tam de Villiers was born in England in 1979 and spent his childhood partly in South Africa, partly in England and mostly in Scotland. He first became involved with music at age 4 playing the violin and then piano a few years later. At the age of 15 he began learning guitar and initially took classes with renowned Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith.

He then studied at Leeds College of Music, attaining his Masters Degree in 2001, and was immediately hired to teach and give workshops at the College on the same course. During this time he also toured with his own groups and gained further experience in a large ensemble context playing in Tommy Smith’s adult and youth big bands.

In 2003, Tam moved to Paris. In order to make connections and meet other young musicians on the French scene. Since then he has had several influential meetings and collaborations with musicians such as Marc Ducret, Stephane Payen, and Fabrizio Cassol who have inspired his playing and his writing over the last few years.

He released his first album Alba Lux in 2008 with a quartet comprised of some of the best new talent in the Paris scene, Karl Jannuska, David Prez and Bruno Schorp (replaced by Frédéric Chiffoleau in 2013) in October 2008. His quartet explores a thouroughly electric soundscape, incorporating counterpoint and multi layered rhythms and touches upon the world of progressive rock, just as much as that of jazz and improvised music The CD received excellent reviews from the jazz press (Jazzman, Jazz Magazine, Citizen Jazz, Culture Jazz, Jazzwise…). In September 2009, he participated with his quartet in the famous Trophées du Sunside Jazz Competition, and received 1st prize for Best Soloist.

In October 2011, he released his quartet’s second album Motion Unfolding (recorded June 2010) with his quartet and  David Linx. as guest singer. This CD was released on the German labeld Double Moon Records, was given the RÉVÉLATION! award in Jazz Magazine / Jazzman and received praise from the prestigious German magazines Jazzthing and Jazzpodium.

Other recent collaborative projects he has launched include : 

Morgen Naughties an acoustic chamber-jazz trio  with Sylvaine Hélary on flûtes and Karsten Hochapfel on cello / Portuguese guitar and himself on folk and nylon guitar. 

Capsule another chamber composition  project with British pianist Matthew Bourne, and French clarinettist Jean-Brice Godet that has recently been awarded the Jazz Shuttle grant for its creation.

As a side man he performs with the Big Sea Band of the harpist Isabelle Olivier, jazz/classical pianist Olivier Calmel ‘s new ensemble, Cinematics, and the progressive jazz-rock group, OZMA, in their WW1 photo-concert 1914-1918: D’autres regards.

His latest quartet album Panacea featuring Hungarian singer Gábor Winand is released on Whirlwind Recordings.

He has had the pleasure of playing with: Marc Ducret, Stephane Payen, Matthew Bourne, Paul Brousseau, Antonin Rayon, Nikki Yeoh, Julian Arguelles, Issam Krimi, Christophe Panzani, Olivier Sens, Yoni Zelnick, Franck Amsallem, Thomas Savy, Sylvaine Hélary, Remi Vignolo, Olivier Calmel, Yvan Robillard, Michael Felberbaum, Antoine Paganotti, Himiko Paganotti, Remi-Jean LeBlanc, Marc Buronfosse, Isabelle Olivier, Remy Decormeille, Simon Tailleu, Lionel Boccara, Cedric Hanriot, Gautier Garrigue, Karsten Hochapfel, Pierre de Tregomain, Luc Isenman, Joe Quitzke, David Fettmann, Sébastien Texier, Antoine Banville, Sébastien Jarrousse, Norma Winstone, Sofie Sorman, Samuel Blaser, Sonny Troupé, Gregory Privat, David Patrois, Céline Bonacina, Sébastien Llado, Louis Moutin, Francois Moutin….