A Parisian for 30 years, guitarist-composer Jean Chaumont relocated in late 2014 to Princeton, New Jersey, where his American wife, Andrea, came to study. Inspired not only by his new surroundings but by the political dysfunction of the times, Chaumont began to compose intensely. He quickly realized he was laying the groundwork for The Beauty of Differences, his extraordinary debut, co-produced with pianist and founder of the Misfitme label Enoch Smith, Jr. (who plays organ on three tracks). “This album can be thought of as a spiritual journal, recording the changes in my inner being during my own cultural adjustment and this challenging time in the world,” Chaumont says. “The Beauty of Differences is an invitation to open our eyes in a new way, to celebrate the richness of this earth and everything that it holds.”
Playing a close-miked Eastman hollow-body guitar (with subtle amplification) as well as steel- and nylon-string acoustic guitars, Chaumont summons a strikingly crisp and warm sound and imbues his compositions with a bountiful lyricism, intricacy, and rhythmic propulsion. On The Beauty of Differences, he shines at the helm of a core band with drummer Rudy Royston, pianist Michael Bond, saxophonist Sam Sadigursky and bassist Ike Sturm. And as special guests, they welcome eight-time Grammy-nominated vocalist Tierney Sutton, percussionist John Hadfield, Indian carnatic vocalist Vinod Gnanaraj, and pianist Enoch Smith Jr on organ.
Co-producing the album with Smith, founder of the Misfitme music label, Chaumont devoted the proceeds to the nonprofit Villages In Partnership, with funds earmarked to provide clean and accessible water for the people of Malawi’s Sakata region, in southeastern Africa. Every album sold will provide clean drinking water for one person for life.
Rudy Royston, drums
Sam Sadigursky, saxophones
Michael Bond, piano
Orlando Le Fleming, bass
Jean Chaumont, guitars
Special guest: Sue Giles, voice
"Chaumont's melodies are catchy, the arrangements have plenty of air, and everyone solos and performs at a high level." -All About Jazz
A guitarist and composer of uncommon depth and purpose, both musically and socially, JEAN CHAUMONT has emerged as a formidable presence on the international jazz scene. Born in France, he relocated to Princeton, New Jersey in late 2014 and promptly began work on his debut album The Beauty of Differences (out June 15, 2018), featuring world-class drummer Rudy Royston and eight-time Grammy-nominated vocalist Tierney Sutton.
Chaumont studied guitar with Serge Merlaud, Michel Perez and most recently the masterful Peter Bernstein. Under the wing of Bernard Maury (a student of Nadia Boulanger), he became fascinated with the science of chords and modes. His interest in composition grew and led him to refine his skills with Pierre Bertrand and Sylvain Beuf. He has been an active member of the quintet Goud (featuring Josiah Woodson) and the duo Tema (with pianist Giuseppe de Gregorio), projects that were documented on the EPs Firstep and Glucose. Chaumont has also shared the stage with Fiona Monbet, Ibrahim Maalouf, Armel Dupas, Karl Jannuska and the Plumes Ensemble. He has been featured in festivals and venues such as Jazz at Saint Germain des près, Charlie Jazz Festival, Jazz at Vannes, Pleyel, the Olympia and the Stade de France.
Jean has also been commissioned for production, arrangements, compositions and film scoring, including the full-length documentary “Le Bonheur en Suspens,” which was broadcast on French national television.