17th edition | 2022-2023


Jacky Terrasson

Jacky Terrasson


One of the world's most traveled jazz pianists Jacky Terrasson has been described by Telerama as a pianist of happiness. An exhilarating musician he is capable of transporting his audiences through his music.

Born in Berlin with an American mother and French father he grew up in Paris and began playing piano at the age of five. After studying classical piano at high school he studied jazz, most notably with Jeff Gardner. An important step in his initial journey was a meeting with Francis Paudras whose film Round Midnight recounts his own moving encounter with Bud Powell.

In 1993, Jacky Terrasson won the prestigious Thelonious Monk competition and went on tour with Betty Carter who was known for her improvisational technique, scatting and other complex musical abilities.

By now living in New York Jacky Terrasson was listed by the New York Times in 1994 as one of 30 artists likely to change American culture in the coming 30 years and he signed a record contract with the prestigious Blue Note label. His first three records were trios and then he collaborated with Cassandra Wilson for “Rendez-vous” and with Michael Brecker and Mino Cinelu for “What it is”. He recorded his personal interpretation of French standards in his album Paris and won best jazz album of the year at the Victoires du Jazz in 2003 and Django d’or for “Smile”.

Inspiring audiences throughout his career, his prestigious collaborations have continued - with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Jimmy Scott and Ry Cooder among others.

His music took a minimalist and energetic turn when he teamed up with drummer Leon Parker and bassist Ugonna Okegwo to form a trio considered one of the best jazz trios. His intuition and openness to new talents has led to Eric Harland, Ben Williams, Jamire Williams and Justin Faulkner being part of his groups.


Photo credit : © DR