Maxime Blésin started playing the guitar at the age of 14, and soon finds himself playing with rock bands.
At the age of 18, he goes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he studies Brazilian popular music during a year at the "Escola Ian Guest de aperfeicoamento musical" (Yeas later he even participated in the Carnaval in Rio in 2001, 02 and 03 with the Samba school "Império Serrano").
In Brasilian music, guitar plays an important role, so Maxime got fascinated by the great songwriters and musicians such as Caetano VELOSO, Chico BUARQUE and Joao GILBERTO.
Around that period, his friend, saxophonist Stéphane MERCIER plays him some jazz records, a.o. some Jackie McLEAN, which turns outs to be his first exposure to jazz.
After he returned to Belgium, he studied during two years at the Antwerp Jazz Studio, with a.o. guitarists Hans VAN OOST and Pierre VAN DORMAEL. He also plays with saxophonist Pierre VAIANA and starts performing on the jazz scene both as a sideman and as a leader.
Around 95, Stéphane MERCIER invites him to New-York, where Maxime meets many interesting musicians. A pianist by the name of Pete RENDE recommends him to take guitar lessons with John DAMIAN, who has been in Boston the teacher of a.o. Kurt ROSENWINKEL and Bill FRISELL.
Following this advice, Maxime goes to Boston and takes composition lessons during 3 months with John DAMIAN, who insists that he investigates the great jazz tradition.
Maxime Blésin then develops as a player strongly rooted in the post-bop tradition. He discovers the guitar masters, such as Grant GREEN, Kenny BURRELL, Wes MONTGOMERY, etc..., but his interest goes far beyond the guitar, as he says himself that he listens a lot to saxophone players, for instance.
Back in Belgium, Maxime starts playing on the scene, gigging in the clubs and composing, too.
During a trip to the Calvi Jazz Festival, where many young musicians meet for torrid jam sessions, he meets some French musicians with whom he obviously has some affinities.
It is the start of his quintet, composed of talented jazz players : Eric PROST (tenor sax), Manu DUPREY (piano), Mourad BENHAMOU (drs), Sal LA ROCCA (bass).
|The quintet has recorded a first album in '99, simply titled Maxime BLÉSIN Quintet (Organic Records), and appeared in many festivals and clubs in Belgium and France.
A second album was released in June 2002 under the title "Bowling Bowl" (Igloo Igl 161)
Maxime Blésin had the opportunity to play with some of the best players in Belgium : Bruno CASTELLUCCI (drs), Manu HERMIA (as), Erik VERMEULEN (p), Sal LA ROCCA (bass), etc...He also plays in trio.
He plays with pianist Anne WOLF & her "Hommage à Jobim", singer Marta MUS (new Soul)
Maxime co-leads with Gregory HOUBEN (tp) BRAZZ, a band which mixes popular Brazilian music and jazz (with also Steve HOUBEN, Phil ABRAHAM, Stephan POUGIN, Cédric WATERSCHOOT, Osman MARTINS and GERSINHO).
Maxime Blésin also performs as a singer.
In 2001, he apperas as the opening act for Tania MARIA at the Calvi Festival (Corse). He takes classical singing lessons with opera singer Nicolas CHRISTOU. He also sings
with Anne WOLF and his own band BRAZZ. In January 2004, he sings at the New Morning in Paris during the "singers night" organized by Jazz Valley.
Finally, let's mention that Maxime Blésin is also active as a sound engineer. He recorded many Belgian and international artists, commercials, jingles for tv etc...
(see top of page for main discography)
As a musician :
Lisa MARGO: Climats ( FC 121)
DJ CAM : Fillet of soul (Inflammable records)
As a sound engineer :
Weber IAGO : Spring will stay here ( mogno j 014)
Alexandre Furnelle quartet: le chant des sirènes (mogno j 013)
Victor da Costa: cores de là; mogno music
Take the duck: duck's food;
More about his band : Maxime Bl QUINTET, BRAZZ.
Read an interview of Maxime Blésin in the Journal of the Lundis d'Hortense (in French)