Born on February 18th 1967 into a very musical family : Ward PRINS (his grandfather) was a lyric artist, record dealer and producer (a.o. Django REINHARDT's session in 1942), and Jeanpierre and Annemarie PRINS (his parents) are record dealers in Brussels, specializing in Jazz and Classical music since 1955.
Jeanfrançois PRINS began playing guitar at the age of seventeen, first self-taught, then attending summer jazz workshops where Joe LOVANO,
John RUOCCO, Richard ROUSSELET and Alex ULANOWSKY (chairman of Harmony at BERKLEE SCHOOL of MUSIC) gave him advice and encouragement. After obtaining his Sound Engineering diploma at the I.N.S.A.S., he attended classes at the Jazz Department of the "Conservatoire Royal de Musique" in Brussels, winning 1st Prize for Instrumental Performance in 1991.
In 1988 he started his own quintet with some of the "young lions" of Belgian jazz.
They toured throughout BELGIUM and FRANCE and recorded a C.D., "N.Y. Stories", which was released in 1991 ("...suavely elegant...cool and bluesy...Recommended to guitar enthusiasts, and worth a listen to those who enjoy contemporary mainstream with heart".CADENCE, Jan. '93).
In 1991, Jeanfrançois PRINS was featured on Belgian singer Mary KAY' s C.D., "Make Someone Happy" (GAM 912), as a player, composer and arranger
("...the real instrumental star of the C.D. is guitarist Jeanfrançois PRINS, who is very sensitive on ballads and can bend notes like John SCOFIELD on fast numbers". CADENCE, Jan. '93).
In November, he received the "Golden Sax", awarded by Dutch and French-speaking journalists in BELGIUM.
1992: April 24th, Jeanfrançois played at the concert organized for Toots THIELEMANS' s 70th birthday with the big band conducted consecutively by Quincy JONES, Peter HERBOLZEIMER and Michel HERR.
He accompanied a.o. Nicole CROISILLE, Viktor LASZLO and Sacha DISTEL.
and concerts and recordings in NEW YORK, U.S.A. with Judy NIEMACK, Kenny WERNER, Café, Salvatore BONAFEDE, Connie FRANCIS ...
1993: Jeanfrançois PRINS recorded a second CD as a leader, "Beauty and the Prince", with Judy NIEMACK, Fred HERSCH, Hein VAN DE GEYN and Bruno CASTELLUCCI
("...growing personality and maturity of guitarist, J. PRINS who also reveals himself as an inspired composer...this album shows him as an acting personality of the modern mainstream "à la Belge"...
"JAZZ IN TIME", Dec. '93).
Played in Belgium and recorded in New York with Lee KONITZ.
Recorded a C.D. with Richard ROUSSELET's new quintet: "Waitin' for You" (GAM 913) ("...European Jazz Renaissance..." SWING JOURNAL, Feb.'94).
1994: Recorded the original soundtrack by Michel HERR and acted in the movie "Just Friends".
Touring with Judy NIEMACK with different bands (American and European) in Europe as well as in N.Y. and Chicago.
1995: Touring with Richard ROUSSELET's quintet.
Touring in BELGIUM with Richard ROUSSELET' s quintet.
Touring in Europe with his own quartet (Michel HERR, Hein VAN DE GEYN and Bruno CASTELLUCCI).
1996: Tour in BELGIUM and FRANCE WITH Lee KONITZ, with whom he recorded his third C.D as a leader (GAM 915 - released in January '96).
1997: Concerts promoting Judy NIEMACK new CD in Europe, California and at the BLUE NOTE in New-York.
Recorded in N.Y. with Judy NIEMACK together with Kenny WERNER, Ray DRUMMOND, Billy HART and Eric FRIEDLANDER, ... with the Japanese singer Shigeko SUZUKI for the label B.M.G. JAPAN.
In New-York he recorded his trio CD All Around Town" with Adam NUSSBAUM (drs), Mike RICHMOND (bass), and Lee KONITZ (alto sax) as a guest (released '99).
Performed with David FRIEDMAN in Berlin
Since 1994, Jeanfrançois has also been performing each year in the staff concerts of the "Janice BORLA Vocal Jazz Camp" in the Chicago area.
Jeanfrançois PRINS currently lives in Berlin (Germany), where in October '95, he became the Jazz Guitar Teacher, jazz history class and leading ensembles at the Hochschule der Kunste, and more recently, started teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.
Other credits include playing as a leader or as a sideman with Lee KONITZ, Bud SHANK, Lew TABACKIN, Toots THIELEMANS, Jim Mc NEELY, Kenny WERNER, Fred HERSCH, Dan HAERLE, Scott COLLEY, Adam NUSSBAUM, Mike RICHMOND, Kirk NUROCK, Putter SMITH, John BETCH, Steve HOUBEN, Jacques PELZER, Jean-Pierre GEBLER, John RUOCCO, Riccardo del FRA,
Michel BENITA, Jay ANDERSON, Mal WALDRON, ...
In 2000, he had the opportunity to play with Kenny WHEELER his "Music for small and large ensemble".
(See top of page for main discography)
As a sideman
| Jean-Pierre GEBLER 5tet||-|| IGLOO IGL 069|
| Jacqueline RENARD|| "Jakie" || FULLHOUSE JFK 01|
|Félix SIMTAINE Quintet|| "le Jazz perd le Nord"|| WBM 108|
| New Look Trio + Judy NIEMACK|| "Atmosphere" || SAXOFOON 9201|
| West Music Club|| "25th"|| WMC 9201|
| Jazz Hoeilaart '91||-||B. Sharp CDS 086|
| Judy NIEMACK|| "Straight Up" ||FREELANCE FRL CD 018|
| Lee KONITZ|| "Rhapsody" vol. 1|
"Rhapsody" vol. 2
| Paddle Wheel Records KICJ 174|
Paddle Wheel Records KICJ 210
| Shigeko SUZUKI|| "Première"|| NOVUS BVCP-870 BMG JAPAN|
| Judy NIEMACK|| "...Night and the Music"||FREELANCE FRL CD 026 |
| RIAS BIG BAND + Guest : Clark Terry|| "Duke Ellington's Music" ||(scheduled for 1998)|
|SÖREN FISCHER|| "Trombolectric Band" Dont Change Your hair For Me|| Winter '99|
|Judy NIEMACK|| "About time" ||Sony, 2003|