Céline Bonacina plays baritone, alto and soprano saxophone, she’s a composer and leader of her own trio.
In 2007 she won the Group prize at the National Jazz competition in La Défense, France. In 2009 she was the winner of the Rezzo contest during Jazz à Vienne. In 2011 she was nominated for the “Instrumental Discovery French Music Awards. In 2012 she was selected for the european project “Take Five Europe”. This year (2013) she was the winner of the Adami french Award.
From the age of seven Céline studied music at the “conservatoire” (in Belfort, Besançon and Paris) then specialised in baritone saxophone in Paris big bands from 1996 to 1998. After gaining her music diplomas she moved to Reunion Island, where she taught at the regional music conservatoire for 7 years. During this time she performed in many festivals in the Indian Ocean with her own band, and as guest of the pianist Omar Sosa.
Back in France in 2005, she released her first album, « Vue d’en haut« , recorded on the island. Her compositions, interpreted with baritone, alto and soprano saxophones, are praised in the press (Jazz Magazine, Jazzman, Culturejazz, Sitarmag, Citizen Jazz, les Dernières Nouvelles du Jazz…).
With her 2010 album „Way of Life“ Bonacina had an impressive debut on ACT featuring Lê as a guest. ”Fono Forum” magazine commented on her playing: ”It is just sensational what sounds and musical styling Céline Bonacina manages to get out the Bariton-Saxophone.”
Her new album “Open Heart” (her second album for ACT Music) was released in February 2013.
She performs most often in trio with the malagasy drummer Hary Ratsimbazafy and the young french bassist Romain Labaye, but also in quartet, quin,tet or sextet in many festivals in France (Jazz sous les Pommiers, Jazz à Juan, Jazz à Vienne, Radio France Festival, Jazz à Tours, Orléans Jazz) and abroad (Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Syria, Norway, Sueden, Turkey…).
Recently she has played in concert with Andy Sheppard, Lars Danielsson, Michaël Wollny, Leszek Modzer, Nils Landgren, Wolfgang Haffner, Nguyên Lê, Michel Benita, Gwilym Simcock…
Nguyên Lê on Céline Bonacina: ”I couldn’t keep myself from admiring the vitality and beauty of Céline’s music and the rich expressiveness of her playing. This young woman has the strong urge to break through the confines of the genre just to be herself. This character trait probably made her to choose such a powerful instrument to play. During the time we spend together working on this album, I constantly got to know new facets of her artistic personality. What a contrast that lies between her delicate appearance, her gentle as impish nature and the passion in each of her tones”.
01. Souffle d“un Songe
02. Circle Dance
03. Wild World
05. So Close So Far
06. Watch Your Step
07. Out Of Everywhere
10. Open Heart
11. Snap The Slap
12. Lonely Dancer (Bonus Track)
Celine Bonacina / baritone saxophone
Kevin Reveyrand / electric bass (on 6,8)
Hary Ratsimbazafy / drums
Himiko Paganotti / vocals (on 5)
Pascal Schumacher / vibraphone & glockenspiel
Mino Cinelu / percussion
Special Guests on “Lonely Dancer”:
Michael Wollny / piano
Lars Danielsson / bass
Music composed by Céline Bonacina (1, 2 ,3, 4, 7, 9, 10 and 11)
5 composed by Céline Bonacina and Himiko Paganotti
6 and 8 composed by Kevin Reveyrand
12 composed by Michael Wollny.
Produced & mixed by Nguyên Lê
Recorded by Jean-Maurice Hayano at Studio 7ème ciel, Issy-les-Moulineaux,
and Nguyên Lê at Studio Louxor, Paris, March 2012
Mixed by Nguyên Lê. Mastered by Klaus Scheuermann
Cover art by Mimmo Paladino used with permission of the artist.
“Open Heart” it’s a quite sensitive and colorful journey exploring jazz from hard-blowing funky tunes and melodic, upper-beat songs to gentle, romantic flavoured ballads and smooth trips. Although baritone sax is mostly consigned to the role of “rhythm saxophone”, Céline giving it a lead role and use from the baritone’s deep, rich tones up to its surprisingly sweet upper end tones.
“Open Heart” have something magic, something mystic, something sweet and sticky, simply can not turn it off once you pushed the play button.
I left it on repeat for hours and each time I discover some new dimension, some secret passage, some hidden cookies in these songs. Really lovely.