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Jean-Luc Ponty

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Jean-Luc Ponty from 2017
You are going to be touring soon. What can you tell us about that?

I did a reunion tour with my American band from the 80s in South America in 2011, called "The Atlantic Years" because we performed my music from that period, and I am very excited to do the same now in the U.S.

Are there any plans to do anything with the Anderson Ponty Band project again?

Jon and I are open to collaborate again, but there is no plan at this time.

It's been a year or so since we last got to interview you. Beyond the stuff we've already mentioned, what's been new in your world during that time?

I kept performing mostly in Europe with my French jazz quartet and also founded a new acoustic trio with Gypsy-French guitarist Bireli Lagrene and Kyle Eastwood on double bass, called "The Ponty-Lagrene-Eastwood Trio," and we start with a couple of shows in May in France before my US tour, then again this summer in Europe. Right now I am in the UK doing a couple of shows with violinist Nigel Kennedy....and friends.

Do you have any other plans beyond the upcoming tour?

Yes, first we might tour again with "The Atlantic Years" band in the Fall 2017, and besides touring with my French band and this new trio, I also have some recording projects in mind, but it's too soon to talk about them.

What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

It is an album of classical organ solo works by a fantastic French composer Maurice Duruflé. He is in that category of modern composers from the 20th century like Olivier Messiaen. I love their concepts of harmony, scales and chord changes, and I love the sound of classical organ in general.


Have you read any good books lately?

I had no time to read lately, although I love reading books. So I can't wait to have some free time again soon. 


What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

I am so busy that I had not time to attend any concert.


Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

Violinist Martha Mooke from New York introduced me to the Eventide H9 last year - fantastic sound effects. All the top recording studios in the world had their effects since the 70s but I now discovered these new ones, small and easy to use on stage and top quality.

MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

I don't want to announce this upcoming tour in the U.S. is my last one, although in my mind it might be, or will be one of the last long tours. I am conscious that I am not a young man anymore, so I keep going as long as I can play, and play well. Then I'll stop.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
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