Richard Galliano

French accordionist and composer (Cannes, 1950 -)

Influenced by his father who was an accordionist, Richard Galliono started to play the accordion when he was 4. He studied with Claude Noël and in parallel to his education, he followed a curriculum at the Nice Conservatoire, studying harmony, counterpoint and trombone (he received the first prize in 1969). 

Richard Galliano discovered jazz through the trumpet player Clifford Brown and pursued his research by looking into jazz specialist accordionists like Sivuca, Dominguinhos, Tommy Gumina, Ernie Felice, Art Van Damme, Felice Fugazza, Volpi, and Fancelli. He was the first French accordionist to suppress the frontiers between jazz and the popular accordion repertoire. From that point, he would never stop mixing the genres.

In 1973, he met Claude Nougaro for whom he would work as an arranger, orchestra conductor and even composer. He worked with many other artists, including Brigitte Fontaine, Al Foster, Juliette Gréco, Charles Aznavour, Chet Baker, Martial Solal, Miroslav Vitouš, Trilok Gurtu, Jan Garbarek, Michel Petrucciani, André Manoukian, Michel Portal, Bruno Letort, the cellists Jean-Charles Capon (with whom he signed his first record) and Bobby McFerrin. He is also interested in movie soundtrack.

In 2010, Richard Galliano signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Immediately after, he recorded an album entirely dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach. His last record was released on April 2013. Called “Vivaldi” it is an homage to The Four Seasons.

Six landmark dates in the life of Richard Galliano

1968 Got the first prize of the Président de la République
1988 Created the famous "Festival des Nuits de Nacre" in Tulle
1992 Was designated jazz musician of the year by the Académie du jazz français and received the Prix Django-Reinhardt.
1998 Received a Victoire de la Musique in the Jazz Album of the Year category for his album “Blow Up with Michel Portal.
2009 Author with his father Lucien of a textbook on accordion, crowned by the prix Sacem of the Best Educational Publication
2011 Was appointed Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Radio France Musical Documentation Biography (June 2014)