Jean Derome

Last updated
Jean Derome
JeanDerome June2007.jpg
Jean Derome performing at the Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 24 June 2007.
Background information
Birth nameJean Derome
Born (1955-06-29) June 29, 1955 (age 64)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Avant-garde jazz, avant-rock, experimental, free improvisation, contemporary classical
Occupation(s) Musician, Composer
Instruments Saxophone, flute
Years active1973–present
Labels Ambiances Magnétiques

Jean Derome (born June 29, 1955) is a French Canadian avant-garde saxophonist, flautist, and composer. A prominent figure in the Montreal musique actuelle (new music) scene, Derome has been a member of experimental, jazz, and rock groups, and has appeared on over 30 albums, including seven solo albums. He has written scores for over 30 films and co-founded Ambiances Magnétiques, a Canadian musical collective and independent record label.


In 1992, Derome won the second annual Canadian Freddie Stone Award. [1]


Jean Derome was born in Montreal, Quebec on 29 June 1955. He studied music theory in Montreal at Cégep de Saint-Laurent between 1972 and 1975, and flute at Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec between 1975 and 1979. He also taught music theory and flute in Montreal colleges between 1974 and 1983. During his studies, he formed his first band Nébu in 1973, one of Quebec’s first avant-garde jazz groups. A trio with Derome on flute, pianist Pierre St-Jacques and bassist Claude Simard, Nébu played "classically-informed contemporary jazz". [2] They toured extensively in Quebec, performed at the Festival de Musique Ouverte de Châteauvallon in France in 1977 and at the inaugural Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1980. Nébu made two albums, Nébu (1978) and Motus (1980) before disbanding in 1981.

In 1978 Derome, St-Jacques and others founded EMIM (Ensemble de Musique Improvisée de Montréal), an informal association of free-improvising and jazz musicians. EMIM produced a number of groups, many with Derome as composer, arranger and flutist. In 1983 Derome began playing alto saxophone with La Grande Aventure, a street band popular at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, [2] and later with two groups devoted to the music of Thelonious Monk, Mystérioso and Évidence.

In 1983 Derome and Québec guitarist René Lussier formed Ambiances Magnétiques, a musical collective and independent record label, providing an outlet for the avant-garde music of its members. One of the first groups from this collective was Les Granules. It was formed by Derome and Lussier in 1984, and combined traditional songs, free improvisation, musical parody and social commentary. [2] Derome and Lussier also performed at jazz festivals across North America and Europe between 1988 and 1991. In 1989, Derome and Lussier joined Fred Frith's review band Keep the Dog, which toured Europe, North America and the former Soviet Union until the band's demise in 1991.

Derome has collaborated with a number of other musicians, including Chris Cutler, Pierre Tanguay, Myles Boisen, Louis Sclavis and Jandek. In 1988, Derome released his first solo album, Confitures de Gagaku, followed by six more over the next 14 years. Derome has composed scores for over 30 films, working with a number of Quebec film directors, including Michèle Cournoyer, Jacques Leduc, Pierre Hébert and Jean Detheux. He also wrote and choreographed a number of dance and theatre pieces in the early to mid-1980s, including Confitures de Gagaku (1985) for woodwinds, soprano, double bass, keyboards and percussion.

Derome is a member of Nicolas Caloia's Ratchet Orchestra, which ranges in size from 15 to 30 musicians and has performed the music of Caloia, Sun Ra, and Malcolm Goldstein.

In celebration of his 60th birthday, Derome is undertaking an extensive schedule of performances and special events which is being called 'L'année Jean Derome' ('The year of Jean Derome). The inaugural event was his performance of 'Resistances' for 20-piece orchestra, presented at the 2015 edition of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV).

Derome is "[one] of the most active and eclectic musicians on the Canadian creative music scene." [3] His unique writing style and his compositions have earned him recognition not only in Canada, but across the world. [3]


Derome performing at the Guelph Jazz Festival in 2009 Jean Derome at Guelph Jazz Festival.jpg
Derome performing at the Guelph Jazz Festival in 2009


Les Granules
Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms
Nous Perçons les Oreilles
Keep the Dog
Fanfare Pourpour
Trio Derome Guilbeault Tanguay


With Chris Cutler and René Lussier
With Pierre Tanguay
With Myles Boisen, Fred Frith and Pierre Tanguay
With Louis Sclavis
With Abel Hassing and Pierre Tanguay


Related Research Articles

René Lussier is a jazz guitarist based in Quebec, Canada. He is a composer, guitarist, bass guitarist, percussionist, bass clarinetist, and singer. Lussier has collaborated with Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Jean Derome, and Robert M. Lepage. He combines elements from several genres and is often referred to within the discourse of contemporary classical music or Musiques Actuelles in French.

Le trésor de la langue is an album of music released by the guitarist René Lussier on the Ambiances Magnétiques label in 1989. Many consider it to be Lussier's greatest album.

CJPX-FM Radio station in Montreal

CJPX-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Montreal, Quebec. Owned and operated by Groupe Musique Greg, fronted by Montreal musician and radio personality Gregory Charles, it broadcasts on 99.5 MHz using an omnidirectional antenna on Mount Royal with an effective radiated power of 8,700 watts. Its main studios are located in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River.

Lee Pui Ming is a Hong Kong-born American pianist, vocalist, and composer. Her work combines elements of contemporary classical music, jazz, and Chinese music. She is one of the most notable figures in the Asian American jazz movement.

Ambiances Magnétiques is a Canadian record company and label started by Jean Derome, René Lussier, and others.

The Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville is an annual international music festival held in Victoriaville, Quebec that showcases contemporary music.

Fabienne Thibeault Canadian musician

Fabienne Thibeault is a French Canadian singer. She is particularly known for her role in Starmania. Thibeault has released numerous albums over her career. She has been the recipient of two Félix Awards.

Keep the Dog was a United States-based experimental rock touring band from New York City formed in 1989 by English multi-instrumentalist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith. The sextet was conceived as a review band for performing selections of Frith's extensive repertoire of compositions from the previous 15 years.

Fred Frith discography Recordings by Fred Frith

Fred Frith appears on over 400 recordings. This is a selection from bands he was/is a member of, collaborations with other bands and musicians, and his solo recordings. The year indicates when the album was first released. For a comprehensive discography, see the Discography of Fred Frith by Michel Ramond, Patrice Roussel and Stephane Vuilleumier.

Fred Frith Guitar Quartet American contemporary classical and experimental music guitar quartet

The Fred Frith Guitar Quartet was a United States-based contemporary classical and experimental music guitar quartet comprising Fred Frith, René Lussier, Nick Didkovsky and Mark Stewart. The group was formed in 1989 by Frith and they performed extensively across North America and Europe for the next ten years, including at the 14th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada in May 1997. They recorded their first album, Ayaya Moses in 1996 and released a live album, Upbeat in 1999.

Tim Brady Canadian composer, electric guitarist, improvising musician, concert producer and record producer

Timothy Wesley John Brady is a Canadian composer, electric guitarist, improvising musician, concert producer, record producer and cultural activist. Working in the field of contemporary classical music, experimental music, and musique actuelle, his compositions utilize a variety of styles from serialism to minimalism and often incorporate modern instruments such as electric guitars and other electroacoustic instruments. His music is marked by a synthesis of musical languages, having developed an ability to use elements of many musical styles while retaining a strong sense of personal expression. Some of his early recognized works are the 1982 orchestral pieces Variants and Visions, his Chamber Concerto (1985), the chamber trio the Wake..., and his song cycle Revolutionary Songs (1994).

Hervé Richard, better known as Ferdinand Richard, is a French avant-rock bass guitarist and composer.

<i>Nous Autres</i> 1987 live album by Fred Frith and René Lussier

Nous Autres is a live album by Fred Frith and René Lussier recorded in October 1986 at the 4th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada. The live mixes were later enhanced with additional material recorded by Frith and Lussier in December 1986 at a studio in Montreal, Quebec, and the resulting album was released on LP in 1987. The album was released on CD in 1992 with four additional studio tracks recorded by Frith and Lussier in January 1992 in New York City.

CJSQ-FM Radio station in Quebec City, Quebec

CJSQ-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Quebec City, Quebec, broadcasting on 92.7 MHz using an omnidirectional antenna with an effective radiated power of 2,840 watts. The station broadcasts a French language classical music format branded as Radio-Classique Québec, and is owned by Groupe Musique Greg as a sister station to CJPX-FM, a classical music station serving Montreal.

Les 4 Guitaristes de lApocalypso-Bar Canadian electric guitar quartet

Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar, also known as Les Quatre Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar was an electric guitar quartet founded by André Duchesne in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1986. It was one of the first electric guitar quartets and was billed as a band from post-apocalypse Canada "inspired by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix".

André Duchesne is a Canadian experimental music guitarist and composer. He was a co-founder of Ambiances Magnétiques, a Canadian musical collective and record label, and formed several experimental music bands, including Conventum, Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar and Locomotive. Duchesne has also released five solo albums.

Julie-Anne Derome Canadian violinist

Julie-Anne Derome is a Canadian violinist who was born in Montreal, Quebec.

The Ratchet Orchestra is an avant garde jazz musical group based in Montreal, Canada. The band was started in the early 1990s, when musical director Nicolas Caloia began experimenting with improvised chamber jazz. Members such as Tom Walsh, Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, Sam Shalabi, and Christopher Cauley soon joined. Four members played on their 1994 eponymous debut.

<i>Duo (Victoriaville) 2005</i> Live album by Anthony Braxton and Fred Frith

Duo (Victoriaville) 2005 is a 2006 live album of improvised music by Anthony Braxton and Fred Frith. It was recorded on May 20, 2005 at the 22nd Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Quebec, Canada, and released in May 2006 by Les Disques Victo, the festival's record label.

<i>Ayaya Moses</i> 1997 studio album by Fred Frith Guitar Quartet

Ayaya Moses is a 1997 studio album by the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, a United States-based contemporary classical and experimental music guitar quartet comprising Fred Frith, René Lussier, Nick Didkovsky and Mark Stewart. It is their debut album and was recorded in Radio-Canada's Studio 12 at Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, seven years after the ensemble was formed in 1989. It was released by Canadian record label, Ambiances Magnétiques.


  1. "The Freddie Stone Award". Sound Symposium. Archived from the original on 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  2. 1 2 3 "Derome, Jean". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  3. 1 2 "Jean Derome". Archived from the original on 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2006-12-20.