Jean-Philippe Rykiel

Genres: New Age World Music
Decades Active: 1980s 2000s

Biography

Paris, France. A member of the famed Parisian fashion family Rykiel, Jean-Phillippe chose to pursue his career as a musician and arranger instead, making his name by collaborating with African musicians. In 1993 he was cited by Folk Roots magazine as ‘the only western musician to play successfully within the Manding and Wolof idioms’, a tribute based on his work as co-arranger and keyboard player on Salif Keita’s Soro (Stern’s 1987), and Youssou N’Dour’s Eyes Open (40 Acres 1992). Influenced by Thelonious Monk as a youth, Rykiel learned piano from the age of six, and was subsequently sent to a special school for the blind. His first contact with African music came in the late 70s, at which time he was an enthusiastic fan of progressive rock groups. Captivated by the music he heard through a Ghanaian friend, Federea Agyeman, they formed a new band with former Gong members Didier Malherba (saxophone) and Winston Berkley (bass). Named...

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