Jazz’elles is an all-female jazz vocal ensemble, created in Lyon in 2013 by Jean-Claude Wilkens. After the CD « Jazz’elles » the group has evolved : a new conductor, Marie-Sophie Talbot, a smaller format, but still the desire to raise the colors of various styles : swing, latin, ballad, pop.
How it all began
In 2013, Jean-Claude Wilkens decided to create a vocal jazz group. A few auditions later he and Hervé Noirot, his faithful pianist partner, were surrounded by some lady singers, coming from Belgium, the South of France, the Alps and the Lyon, then three professional musicians and a sound engineer have completed the group. Steve Zegree honored us with becoming the godfather of the group.
The next six years allow the group to participate in many concerts or competitions in France or in Europe with an enthusiasm and a pleasure to sing together never denied. 2019 marks the evolution of the group towards a new aesthetic.
The singers come from very different artistic backgrounds.
Some are professional musicians, some are passionate jazz lovers and have a long practise of singing in choir and/or jazz.
Most of them were already present in 2013, when Jazz’elles was created and all are delighted to be able to continue this friendship and jazz story.
Pianist, singer, percussionist, author, composer, arranger and actress, Marie-Sophie Talbot navigates between music, theater, dance, shows for young audiences or all audiences.
Collective creations, occasional assistance, she participates in one way or another to many shows, gives also training in Belgium and abroad and accompanies several polymorphous projects. She is also a teacher of Jazz vocal training and rythm.
Her past ? More than 25 years of stage, including her participation with Urban Trad in Eurovision in 2003 (2nd place for Belgium) but also in countless shows as an actress, musician, arranger, dancer.
Her future ? Equally eclectic in her choices with still many projects, including that of accompanying Jazz’elles in it’s new configuration.
In parallel to mathematical studies, Jean-Claude Wilkens studied music. His career as a music teacher quite quickly gave way to a career in cultural management for various musical organizations.
Even though his professional activities are closely linked to choral music and its actors, Jean-Claude Wilkens has always considered conducting to be a hobby, the passion of an amateur, in the noble sense. He has won many international competitions with the vocal ensemble Hodie, female choir which he founded in 1988. He has also been directing Ladies in Jazz and Polyphème, and created and conducted Jazz’elles from 2013 to 2019.
He remains at the disposal of the group as an external eye, arranger and member of the board.
Jazz'elles has performed in the Lyon area and across France and Belgium.Their initial repertoire of jazz, salsa, pop, ballad has grown and turned to more contemporary pieces.
Still to be patient !