« Claudia Solal has tremendous class, a clear and radiant voice, as refined as it is unaffected which is a privilege of only the greatest. At such a level of performance, few can compare, and you need to recall Björk, Annette Peacock, Beth Gibbons, or more recently, Joanna Newson, to perceive only a vague notion of her fascinating tone and subtle inflexions ».
«That is why I like Claudia Solal ! Because her voice is the kaleidoscopic breeding ground of her world ; that this world is an alchemy of very apparent opposites ; because in her singing mingle both risk and distancing, high demanding and sensuality, intimacy and inventiveness». Stéphane Carini.
For over 20 years, Claudia Solal has never stopped accentuating the singularity of a deeply original world, to the point of asserting herself today as one of the most precious singers of the most innovative musical scenes. While mastering tradition to perfection, she is in constant search of new territories where the artistic expression is not dependent on a stylistic code. Claudia Solal appears on stage in France and Europe, through Asia and the United States, on prestigious venues and festivals. Her numerous collaborations and singular artistic experiences played a large part in building a unique and captivating vocal language, at the crossroads of written material and improvised songs, off shore songs, as she calls them. Voice phenomenon, they say, she «mixes erudition and freshness, the unusual and a discreet exultation» (Fara C.).
Singer, songwriter, improviser, Claudia Solal was born in the Paris suburbs in a family of artists. Daughter of painter Anna Solal, and pianist and composer Martial Solal, grand-daughter of scottish and russian painters Una Maclean Grégoire Michonze, she begins playing the piano at the age of 6 at the Conservatory of Ville d'Avray. At the age of 18, she starts a classical vocal technique training with Christine Demangel. She studies jazz with Pierrick Hardy, Laurence Saltiel, Christiane Legrand, Bob Mintzer, Kenny Werner, François Theberge, and very soon forms various duets, trios, quartets of her own and performs on stage. She also studies theater, photography, african percussions, indonesian gamelan and tap dance.
After her highly acclaimed first two recordings My own foolosophy (with Baptiste Trotignon, Arnault Cuisinier, Thomas Grimmonprez,1998 - Claude Carrière says then that she doesn’t look like anyone, that non reference, no model comes to mind while listening to her, and Porridge Days (duet with Benjamin Moussay, 2005 – Charles Cros Academy’s Coup de cœur), she releases Room Service in 2010 (4f Télérama), with her quartet Spoonbox, created on the occasion of Jazz in Marciac festival (with Joe Quitzke, Benjamin Moussay et Jean-Charles Richard). They will perform until 2013.
Her second album in duet with Benjamin Moussay, Butter in my brain, released in oct. 2017 is unanimously celebrated. It is nominated at the Victoires du Jazz 2018 (4f Télérama, 4 stars Jazz Magazine, Best sound Le Monde 2017). In Le Monde, Francis Marmande says about the album : « Not a style, or a system or even a repertoire, but a completely singular approach to music, both unique and perfectly identifiable. The best news of the year, a vital spark and promise for the future, jazz on a background of joyful wisdom. A masterpiece ». Claudia and Benjamin celebrate in 2018 their 15 years of duet collaboration.
Her meeting with pianist Françoise Toullec in 1999, with whom she will work until 2015 (La Banquise en été, Le Perturbateur, les Deux soleils et les deux lunes, l’Ornitocampe, La Banquise II, Adam et Eve, Fantaisie en si), opens up new horizons for her in the improvised music field, after a long exploration of the jazz standards repertoire. In 2001, with Lê Duy Xuân and Médéric Collignon, she creates a trio of vocal improvisation, La Théorie du chaos; she then forms in 2006 a surprising duet with saxophonist Jean-Charles Richard, based on improvisation. She gives her first solo concert in Tours the same year, during Jazz à Loches festival.
Between 2007 and 2016, she performs in several creations of Jean-Marc Padovani, Yves Rousseau (including Poète, vos papiers, a tribute to Léo Ferré in tandem with singer Jeanne Added), Jean-Marie Machado (Les Ames Papillon 5tet / Danzas Orchestra), in duet with bassist Benjamin Duboc in Chicago and France (Le ventre vide), in Eleanora Suite with clarinetist Jean-Marc Foltz and violinist Régis Huby. She recently has been heard in a duet with Martial Solal, at the Opéra de Lyon, and the Cité de la Musique in Strasbourg. In 2002 she joins his big band, the Newdecaband (their last concert takes place at Guimaraes Jazz Festival, 2013).
She’s been teaching since 1998 (Paris, Dijon, Rennes), and has been running the jazz singing and improvisation class at the Jazz and Improvised Music Department (Djemi) in Strasbourg’s Conservatory since 2005. She also gives workshops and master classes, works with dancers and actors. She composes for television, cinema and theater, and collaborates in performances in the field of contemporary art, as well as multidisciplinary shows mixing music, theater, dance, graphic arts.
She currently works in a trio with cellist Didier Petit and drummer Philippe Foch (The Space travellers / Charles Cros Academy’s Grand Prix 2017 - recent tours in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Latvia, Estonia, Finland), the French American quartet Antichamber Music (based on poems by James Joyce) with Katie Young (bassoon), Lou Mallozzi (turntables and electronics) and Benoît Delbecq (prepared piano), in a duet called Equivoxe with contemporary singer Valérie Philippin, in duet and sextet with clarinetist Sylvain Kassap (sextet with Hélène Labarrière, Aymeric Avice, Gianni Caserotto, Sylvain Darrifourcq). She will be on stage next year in a chamber opera, Patiente 66, written by Dorothée Zumstein, and composed by Benoît Delbecq, with Elise Caron, Anne Benoît, Antonin-Tri Hoang, Kim Myhr, Miles Perkin, Steve Argüelles and Benoît Delbecq. She recently participated with the composer and bassist Diego Imbert in Le Vent nocturne, written for winds and strings, percussion and voice, on poems by Guillaume Apollinaire. She is preparing several new musical objects from solo to sextet, including a duet album with Benoît Delbecq which will be released in 2019.
Those past years, she played with Joshua Abrams, Steve Argüelles, Sébastien Boisseau, Elise Caron, David Chevallier, Bruno Chevillon, Médéric Collignon, François Corneloup, Francisco Cossavella, Mathias Delplanque, Benjamin Duboc, Stéphane Galland, Antonin-Tri Hoang, Tony Hymas, Didier Ithursarry, Fred Jackson, Bachar Mar Khalifé, Lee Konitz, Gueorgui Kornazov, Nantha Kumar, Hélène Labarrière, Eric Le Lann, Denis Leloup, Ramon Lopez, Mimi Lorenzini, Philippe Macé, Rick Margitza, Christophe Marguet, Louis-Michel Marion, Rob Mazurek, François Merville, Phil Minton, Kim Myhr, N’Guyen Lê, Maggie Nichols, Jean-Marc Padovani, Miles Perkin, Joe Quizke, Tomeka Reid, Carol Robinson, Guillaume Roy, Andy Sheppard, Claus Stötter, Claude Tchamitchian, Dan Tepfer, François Thuillier, Françoise Toullec, Eric Watson…