Céline Bonacina

Céline Bonacina

Depuis bientôt une dizaine d'années et avec quatre albums à son actif, la saxophoniste Céline Bonacina s'est imposée comme l'une des musiciennes les plus enthousiasmantes de la scène européenne. Son jeu volubile, audacieux et nourri de groove au saxophone baryton n'a pas d'équivalent. Son goût pour les rencontres et les métissages musicaux nourrissent une trajectoire en perpétuel mouvement.

Saxophonist Céline Bonacina has been prevailing for almost ten years now and with four albums to her credit, as one of the most exciting musicians on the European scene. Her fluent, daring, groove-playing at the baritone saxophone has no equivalent. Her taste for encounters and musical blending nourish a trajectory in perpetual movement.

Born in Belfort on July 23, 1975, from a family of musicians, Céline Bonacina began to study music at the age of seven by following a classical studies course in different conservatories in Belfort, Besançon and Paris… As a teenager, she discovered a growing passion for jazz and improvised music. During her Parisian years from 1996 to 1998, she specialized in baritone saxophone by first integrating several big bands. Developing a solo game with this instrument naturally becomes a priority. Holder of saxophone CA and jazz DE, she then leaves for the island of Reunion, where she teaches at the Regional Radiation Conservatory for 7 years.

Back in France in 2005, she created the Céline Bonacina Trio, a propitious formation to diversify the formats until today, from the trio + guest(s) up to sixty musicians on stage. (Céline Bonacina Trio & the Megapulse Orchestra) When recording her second trio album, Way of Life, she realized one of her dreams: to invite guitarist Nguyên Lê. This album seduces the prestigious German Label ACT on which she will then record another opus Open Heart, released in 2013. She then creates a more acoustic project, Crystal Rain (on the Cristal Records label) with the collaboration of British pianist Gwilym Simcock, Canadian double bassist Chris Jennings and Israeli drummer Asaf Sirkis.

Céline perforrmed in many festivals and jazz clubs in France and abroad: United Kingdom, Syria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Hungary, New Zealand, Canada…

In parallel with her stage life, Céline Bonacina leads a diversified educational life teaching classical saxophone and jazz at CRD d'Alençon. She is regularly asked for master classes around various themes: rhythmic of the Indian Ocean, bridges between the classical and the jazz in the game in solo, etc. She collaborates with Nguyên Lê, Andy Sheppard, Lars Danielsson, Michaël Wollny, Nils Landgren, Mino Cinelu, Michel Benita, Didier Levallet, Tineke Postma, Julien Lourau, Bojan Z, Terri Lyne Carrington, Rhoda Scott

In her latest album, JUMP! (Cristal Records), released on 15 September 2023, Céline Bonacina continues to combine jazz as an energetic, festive and sensitive "fusion" music.


Photo credit: Nathalie Courau-Roudier.