Raphaël Imbert

Jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger (1974)

Raphaël Imbert is a French jazz saxophonist, orchestra conductor, composer and music professor. He is the founder and artistic director of the Compagnie Nine Spirit.

Raphaël Imbert was born in Thiais on the 2nd of June 1974. He started to learn to play the saxophone at the age of 15 as an autodidacte, and later was admitted in the Conservatoire de Marseille in the jazz class of Philippe Renault. Imbert won Conservatoire first prize in 1995 with Jean-Jacques Elangué and was a jazz professor assistant at the Conservatoire de Marseille from 2003 to 2006.

In 1996 he founded the bands Hemlé Orchestra and Atsas-Imbert Consort (Émile Atsas, guitar, Vincent Lafont, piano, and Jean-Luc Di Fraya, drums) with whom he performs in many festivals like Jazz à Vienne, Nice Jazz Festival, and the Fiesta des Suds in Marseille.

He created in 2002 in Marseille the collective l'Enclencheur with musicians, sociologists, journalists and music lovers. The collective had a short life and defended a reflexion project that included the practice of jazz in a more global vision of the society.

In 2003, he won the program "La Villa Médicis Hors les Murs" for his research work on sacred music in jazz, completed in six months in New York. Afterwards, that stay would become the founding element of Raphaël Imbert's compositions.

Raphaël Imbert has developed a educational program that he has been given at the Conservatoire de Marseille since 2003 and at the occasion of several seminars, like the Jazz à Cluny festival and the street arts formation of the Fai’art. He also offers during a master class an improvisation method for chamber music ensembles.

Following the projet Bach - Coltrane with quartet Manfred and André Rossi, he has been working on a regular basis with many classical musicians: Chiara Banchini, Johan Farjot, Arnaud Thorette, Karol Beffa, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pierre-Olivier Queyras, Geneviève Laurenceau...

He was a member of the administration board of the Orchestre National de Jazz from September 2004 to September 2007. In June 2005, at the 28th Concours National de Jazz in La Défense, he won the Grand Prix d'Orchestre with his band Newtopia and the soloist second prize.

He composed music for movies and television for the projects of Philippe Carrese and Isabelle Boni-Claverie.