Piano Jazz Sessions : Improvisation and Creativity with Yaron Herman

Music 16 March 2022 – 3pm

© Hamza Djenat

3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Journée d'ateliers publics sur l'improvisation et la créativité

Echoing his first book entitled Le déclic créatif (when creativity strikes) that was published in 2020 and illustrates his passion for sharing and learning, Yaron Herman devotes this public workshop to promoting improvisation, both in terms of self-construction and as a vector for creation. He is determined to make creativity accessible to all musicians, whether they are classically trained or have a background in jazz. The workshop will include a discussion about the creative process, then an interactive masterclass on improvisation, orally or on the piano.  

The workshop is open to everyone including beginners, enthusiasts and professionals, and is available on registration. 

The artist

Yaron Herman

Yaron Herman was an enthusiastic basketball player from a young age, but an injury led him to turn to music, particularly the piano, which he began playing at 16 years of age. Studying under Opher Brayer, he swiftly established a well-defined technique, qualifying him to give his first concerts in Israel. When he was just 19, he moved to Boston to start school at the prestigious Berklee College of Music but, disappointed by the education he received there, he left the United States and landed in Paris, the city he would ultimately call home.

At 21, Mr Herman recorded his first album, Takes 2 to Know 1, in a duo with drummer Sylvain Ghio. In 2006, he released Variations, his first solo album, a work that reveals a singular pianistic virtuosity demonstrated in original compositions and numerous covers: George Gershwin, Gabriel Fauré, Sting, and even popular Israeli songs. This album saw great success and was followed by a tour, giving the artist the chance to perform at the Forbidden City in Beijing, a first for a jazz pianist.

Two years later, he featured a trio on his CD A Time for Everything, accompanied by double bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Gerald Cleaver, both of whom he met in New York. This album was hailed internationally, recognition earned in part by the trio’s jazz covers of several pop songs, including Britney Spears’ Toxic and Message in a Bottle by British rock group The Police.

The second album by the same trio, Muse, came out in 2009 and was voted “Jazz Album of the Year” on iTunes. Mr Herman also took part in an increasing number of collaborations with artists such as saxophonist Raphaël Imbert, clarinettist Michel Portal and, more recently, drummer Ziv Ravitz, with whom he released the album Everyday in 2015 on the Blue Note label.

In March 2017, Mr Herman explored more distant horizons on his eighth album, Y. For this new adventure, the pianist joined forces with his alter-ego, Ziv Ravitz, and invited bassist Bastien Burger of The Dø to take part. The Franco-Israeli pianist internalises and intertwines all genres and styles that have influenced him, from jazz to post-rock to electro, whether the source is Sufjan Stevens, Steve Reich or Keith Jarrett. Capable of releasing breakneck energy as easily as expressing supremely refined sensitivity, Mr Herman chose to compose his own “songs” for Y – as they are indeed songs, each having its colours and spaces enriched by the voices of his singer and guitarist friends Matthieu Chedid (aka -M-), young French electro-pop producer Dream Koala and bluesman and crooner Hugh Coltman. Between drums recorded on a mobile phone (Jacob), heavenly choirs (Dreamson) and bells (Phoenix), the composer seeks, invents and paints a marvellous musical tableau that attains the dizzying heights of his limitless inspirations.

In 2018, Yaron Herman took part in two projects: first, he formed a trio with talented drummer Ziv Ravitz and bassist Sam Minaie (on a world tour with Melody Gardot); second, he made an album with GECA in Geneva. Following that release, they performed in prestigious venues such as Le Centquatre-Paris and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

The album Song of the Degrees, his ninth, was recorded with Ziv Ravitz and Sam Minaie and was released in February 2019 on the prestigious Blue Note label.