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Marc Antoine — Featured Smooth Jazz Artist Archives

May 2011

Marc Antoine –Guitare Élégant of Jazz & More

Guitarist Marc Antoine brings finesse and such a fine flair to the world of contemporary jazz. His melodies are always so romantic and telling, and his is a story that begs to be told.By the time he was 14 years old, Marc Antoine was sure he wanted to be a professional musician.  He had been playing seriously since he received his first guitar at age 11.  He had only been playing the guitar a couple of months when it became apparent that he had serious talent.  After about a year, his father realized that his son could benefit from lessons; so, he sent him to the Paris conservatory for training in classical guitar.  During this time, young Antoine was privileged to be mentored by classical guitarists Andres Segovia and John Williams.

His musical education wasn’t confined to formal lessons during his years of training.  Antoine was also exploring many other types of music on his own. He was listening to a wide range of music, everything from rock to flamenco, afro-pop to jazz as well as classical. He was definitely building the broad foundation of sounds and rhythms that typifies his music today.

By the time he was 17, Antoine was winning awards and playing with local bands.  His hope of a music career was becoming a reality.  However, his career was almost destroyed when the budding musician suffered a severe injury to his left hand.  The damage was extensive, and a surgery of about four hours was required to repair it.  When it was over, the surgeons told an anxious Antoine that his days of playing the guitar were almost certainly over.  Fortunately, love for the music enabled him to defy the odds, and he was back to performing three years later.

Before too long, Antoine was ready to spread his wings and explore other parts of the world.  He lived for a time in Tokyo and in London.  While in London, he became a respected session player and a part of the Acid Jazz scene.  In the 1990s, he moved to Los Angeles where he stayed for about a decade.  He played for artists such as Sting, Celine Dion, Selena, Rod Stewart, Cher, Queen Latifah, and George Benson, among others.  He also wrote and performed for major motion pictures such as “The Fan,” “Patch Adams,” and “Get Shorty.”With so much talent and determination combined with a growing reputation in the music industry, it is not surprising that Antoine was ready to launch a solo career and released his first album, Classical Soul, in 1994.  He has followed with eight more albums, each exhibiting his light and skillful touch on the guitar and drawing from a variety of influences including, to name a few, flamenco, Brazilian, and even some Hip-Hop.  His most recent album, My Classical Way,  is his unique interpretation of well-known classical music.

A trip to Madrid in 1997 to do some promotion work proved to be especially lucky for Antoine.  He was already an established solo artist, and his single, “Latin Quarter,” was a Top 40 hit.  During this time, he appeared on a talk show and met his future wife.  He says it was love at first sight.  Today, the two live in Madrid with their young son.  Antoine says that he chose to live in Madrid because of his wife and because it is a good place for his son.  For himself, he says he could live anywhere on earth since where he really lives is in his own musical world and is happy anywhere as long as he can keep creating his music.

On the advice of his doctors, Antoine is currently taking some time off from touring, although he continues to compose and record in his Madrid studio.  We at TSJR certainly wish him a speedy and complete recovery.  The contributions and artistry of this masterful guitarist definitely make the world of music in general and contemporary jazz in particular a much better place.  – Annette Olsen

Some source material from MarcAntoine.com