Born in Côte d'Ivoire, Samy Thiébault studied classical music at the Bordeaux Conservatoire before joining the jazz class at the Paris Conservatoire in 2004. He graduated in 2008. At the same time as his musical studies, he obtained a master's degree in philosophy (summa cum laude) at the Sorbonne (2001).
Blues For Nel was released in 2004, followed by Gaya Scienza in 2007 and Upanishad Expériences in 2010 (the first album to be produced by his own label, Gaya Music Productions). Clear Fire was released in 2013. It was also at this time that he began working extensively with dance, theatre and film: music for the dance show Les Autres Sois in 2022, Nadir Mokneche's film, L'Air de la mer, in 2023, and Edouard Tissot's En Son Absence in 2014. In 2013, he was appointed Professor of Jazz and Saxophone at the Choisy-le-Roi Conservatoire.
The release in 2015 of Feast Of Friends, a tribute to The Doors, was a major turning point in Samy's career, and led him to invite the great trumpeter Avishai Cohen for his album Rebirth in 2016.
In 2018, he released Caribbean Stories, the first part of a triptych on Creolisation. It is an album in the form of a subjective journey to the heart of the Caribbean. In her preface to the album, Minister Christiane Taubira wrote: "In all likelihood, Samy Thiébault has perceived the plasticity of this music. They vary. They rarely shout, they take care of their geographical roots as much as they maintain their cultural branches, much less, however, than they bear witness to the blows and upheavals that gave them birth, to the abyss from which they come, to the edge of the abyss that they have assiduously frequented, unwillingly. From the chaos that gave them substance. And a rumbling serenity".
In September 2019, Samy Thiébault will release a project that fulfils a dream he has had for over ten years: to write a suite for symphony orchestra and jazz quintet, uniting the worlds of 20th-century French music, black American spiritual jazz of the 1960s and Indian classical music. Thanks to a powerful encounter with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, conductor Aurélien Azan Zielinsky and sound engineer Philippe Teissier Du Cros. The album, Symphonic Tales, marks the start of a new adventure for the saxophonist and his band.
The year 2021 will see the release of an ambitious album, recorded in the four corners of the world (Miami, Cuba, France, Sao Paulo) and with influences as rich as they are varied: Awé! It will also be the final part of his triptych on Creolisation. The saxophonist is inviting some of the best musicians from the Cuban diaspora: Dafnis Prieto (drummer, composer, winner of the Thelonious Monk Competition, Grammy Award 2019), pianist Manuel Valéra, Brian Lynch on trumpet (ex-Jazz Messengers, Grammy Award 2020) and Yunior Terry on bass.
Photo credit: Youri Lenquette