portrait by Jean-Baptiste Millot
Armel Dupas was born in Nantes (Western part of France) in 1984.
Music and art are part of his daily life and his family environment. Carried by the very rich musical milieu of Nantes, he decided quite naturally to transform his passion into his occupation.
At age 21, he enters the Jazz class at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and meets numerous musicians of his own generation through diverse projects that will nourish his future creations. Besides, Armel begins to perform in Parisian Jazz Clubs as a pianist as well as a composer and an arranger of the groups he belongs to. Thanks to this, he will be noticed by his peers.
In 2011, the singer Sandra Nkaké offered him to join her new formation for the tour of the album Nothing for Granted. They will end up making 120 concerts around the world and obtaining in 2012 a price at Les Victoires de la Musique (the French equivalent of the Grammy Awards) in the jazz category (Les Victoires du Jazz).
In parallel, in 2013, Armel creates with the drummer Corentin Rio the electro-jazz-groove duet WaterBabies. The formation becomes laureate of the Rézzo Focal Jazz springboard in Vienna. Moreover, its first album Inner Island (released on the record label Naïve) is praised by the critics (JazzMagazine Revelation, JazzNews Discovery).
In May 2014, Armel joins the prestigious Sky Dancers Quintet of the bass player Henri Texier who says about him: “I’ve discovered a very musically involved musician who has all the qualities of what I call the “Figurative Jazz”. That is to say a sense of rhythm, of melody and of the harmonic colors, but also a lot of elegance in the touch of the instrument and a way of putting things into space that I especially like.”
These various requests open for him the doors of French auditoriums and festivals such as the New Morning, La Cigale, L’Olympia, Jazz à Vienne or Jazz in Marciac, but also abroad : The Lincoln Center (New York), The Standard (Copenhagen), The Montreux Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival …
Recently invited to perform in Taïwan, he experiences a real appeal for musical travels which makes his inspiration thrive.
His talent for improvisation and composition also allows him to work for movie directors such as Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale, Jimmy P.), Michel Gondry (Mood Indigo) or Olivier Jahan (T’embrasser une Dernière Fois). He also co-wrote the soundtrack of the movie Inside Paris for the filmmaker Christophe Honoré. From this soundtrack, he created a movie conference in November 2014.
His solo project named Upriver is the subject of an album that has been released in August 2015, in an electroacoustic style that falls entirely within the scope of the current jazz sound.
Bands and projects Armel Dupas has been part of :
Henri Texier : tour and album Sky Dancers (pianist)
Sandra Nkaké : tour Nothing for Granted (pianist)Chloé Cailleton / Armel Dupas – Ease of Sunrise (laureate Crest Jazz Vocal), which became Chloé Cailleton Trio (laureate Trophées du Sunside 2011)
Georges Paczynski Trio : album Présences (pianist)
Fiona Monbet Quartet (Fonds d’action Sacem, Trophées du Sunside 2010)
Sofie Sörman Quartet : album Ripples (pianist et arranger)
Cécilia Bertolini : album Gotta do it (pianist and arranger)