Jean-Pierre CATOUL started to study violin at the age of 6. Two years later, he is elected one of the best young talents of the TV program "Feu Vert".
Parallel to his violin studies, Jean-Pierre also had a go at the piano.
1984: wins first prize for solfeggio and violin at the Liège Royal Conservatory.
He also studied harmony and plays as soloist in the symphonic orchestra for youngsters. Same year, he discovers jazz and rock while listening to records of Stéphane GRAPPELLI and Jean-Luc PONTY.
1985: he enters the Jazz seminar at the Conservatoire of Liège and attends classes with Steve HOUBEN, Richard ROUSSELET, Michel HERR... It is also in 1985 that he forms his first group "Equation" with Eric LEGNINI.
1986: Jean-Pierre CATOUL joins the string quartet of French pop singer William SHELLER, it is the beginning of a long partnership.
That same year, he appears and records the CD Extremes with ACT BIG BAND of Félix SIMTAINE and Michel HERR. Since then, he leads a double activity in the universe of jazz and pop.
In the pop sector, he works with NIAGARA, Stéphane EICHER, Arthur H., BARBARA and Gérard DEPARDIEU, Alain SOUCHON, Isabelle ANTENA, Alain BASHUNG, B.J. SCOTT, KENT, POW-WOW, GOTAINER, INDOCHINE, ...
1987: The year of the decisive encounter with Didier LOCKWOOD, with whom Jean-Pierre will work on a regular basis during two years; The French jazzman becomes the master player of the young Belgian violinist.
1988: Jean-Pierre CATOUL forms his regular group with Xavier TRIBOLET, Francis CHARLIER, W. NSITA and Yves BAIBAY and devotes himself exclusively to jazz.
1989: Sax award of the Belgian jazz critics for the most promising young talent of the year and represents jazz violin besides the most known virtuosos during the Queen Elisabeth competition.
1990: Jean-Pierre records his first CD as leader, "Modern Gardens" (B. Sharp), and begins to play around the country with his group.
That same year, he plays, for the first time, with Stéphane GRAPPELLI: an important encounter and the start of close collaboration between the two violinists.
1991: Joins the group of the Irish singer PERRY ROSE and in the mean time, is selected by a French association among the international 20 best jazz violinists.
1992: while gaining more and more recognition as a jazz soloist, during various festivals, Jean-Pierre CATOUL plays a.o. with Toots THIELEMANS, Jacques PELZER, Philip CATHERINE,... Same year, he records his second album, solo, "Import-Export" with his group and some guest artists for the Parisian label "Miss You". It is the start of a real international carreer.
1993: In face of a growing success, Pierre STINE and Belgian television RTBF run a reportage about him, under the title "Jean-Pierre Catoul, violon tout-terrain", a portrait depicting his diverse musical activities as a violinist.
He participated in a big concert featuring top violinists of the world alongside a.o. Yehudi MENUHIN, Stéphane GRAPPELLI and L. SUBRAMANIAM.
1994: Forms a new group with Breton accordeon/bandoneon player Gwenaël MICAULT and records the CD "Other Worlds", a project that combines world music and fusion jazz.
1995: Performed alongside Robert PLANT and Jimmy PAGE ("LED ZEPPELIN"). Supervizes the symphonic arrangements for their European concerts while leading the string section.
1997 : Forms the Charles LOOS/ Jean-Pierre CATOUL Duo with pianist Charles LOOS and records with him the CD "Summer Winds" (Quetzal).
In 2001 : release of the CD Sad Hopes (Virgin).
Duos with pianist/composer Pirly ZURSTRASSEN. An album was released in May 2001 by Carbon 7.
1999 : Forms the Jean-Pierre CATOUL / Peter HERTMANS Project and records the CD " Restless" (Quetzal QZ 109) with guitarist Peter HERTMANS, an album of their compositions, with also Michel HERR (kb), Michel HATZIGEORGIOU (el. bass) and Bruno CASTELLUCCI (drs), released end '99. The band has since played many concerts and festivals.
Played with Fabrice ALLEMAN's ONE SHOT and with Félix SIMTAINE's TEN-TAMARRE.
2000 : Tours with TRUE STORY, an all stars band created by Ivan PADUART (CD True Stories, IGLOO Igl 146, a.o. with Charlie MARIANO on sax).
2001 : release of the CD Sad Hopes (Virgin) with pianist Charles LOOS.
Jean-Pierre CATOUL died on January 22, 2001, much too early, at the age of 37, victim of a a car accident.
A posthumous CD was released in May 2001, a duo album with pianist Pirly ZURSTRASSEN titled "Septimana " (Carbon 7 C7 053).
ADDITIONAL SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY (AS A LEADER) :
(see top of page for main discography)
Jean-Pierre CATOUL :"Modern Gardens" (B. Sharp CDS 076)
Jean-Pierre CATOUL :"Import Export" (Miss You)
Jean-Pierre CATOUL / Gwenaël MICAULT : "Other Worlds"