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Yannick Rieu

Recognized as one of the most talented jazz saxophonists in the world, Yannick Rieu is the recipient of the 18th Oscar Peterson Award, acknowledging his outstanding musicianship and exceptional contribution to the development of Canadian jazz. His music is best defined by its constant evolution.

The press around the world is full of praise for him. In 1988, Downbeat magazine (New York) placed him alongside saxophonists such as Brandford Marsalis and Joe Lovano in a “critics poll”. Others compare his playing to that of Stan Getz or Lee Konitz (L’Express, Toronto).

The Journal de Montréal (Canada) calls him “One of the world’s 20 best jazz saxophone players” or still “Canada’s greatest jazz poet” (Jazzman, France)

“He sounds like a mixture of Tony Malaby or Chris Potter’s muscular playing with a hint of mid-60s Sonny Rollins lyricism.” (The Jazz Clinic, USA)

Where does Yannick Rieu really stand? The answer is complex. “He has the ability to evoke the roar and fury of life as well as the tenderness and exquisite delight of our existence. ” (Stanley Péan, Radio Canada).

“Contextually neither expressionist nor impressionist, avant-gardist nor neo-conservative, Yannick Rieu instead inhabits a middle ground, where inspiration is motivated by individual concern, a private vision. The choice he has made mark him as a musician of thoughtful gesture and singular craft.” (Art Lange, New York)

“Bruno Monsaingeon once said that Glenn Gould’s genius was to give each auditor the seemingly miraculous ability to decipher Bach’s music. Yannick Rieu is endowed with the same gift: to hear him think out loud his interior musical self is to experience the exhilarating sensation of being able to speak the jazz idiom ourselves.” (L’Express, Toronto)

Yannick Rieu leaves no one indifferent. Through his acoustic and electronic projects, he tackles music from multiple angles, while improvisation remains the cornerstone of his artistry. Always intense and intuitive, he plays tenor and soprano saxophone, obeying his own philosophy, without any compromise. As a creative artist, he constantly aims at giving sense to his music.

Yannick Rieu Génération Quartet – QUI QU’EN GROGNE

With his new album “Qui Qu’en Grogne”, Yannick Rieu invites us to revisit his musical origins and early influences with new compositions rooted in the classical jazz quartet tradition. Simple melodies develop and, as the group improvises, become more elaborate, going beyond the listener’s expectations. The musical conversations intertwine, creating a truly unified sound. For this new recording, Rieu has assembled a unique combination of established and emerging musicians: pianist Gentiane Michaud-Gagnon, drummer Louis-Vincent Hamel and bassist Guy Boisvert. As its name suggests, Génération Quartet is a dialogue between two generations of musicians who, after many years of shared experiences, have developed their own chemistry and sound. With one foot firmly planted in the rich past of the jazz tradition and the other in its future, the music of this group is steeped in poetry, mystery and beauty – this album is an evocative exploration of the human experience.

African Tour

November 3 to 25, 2023

Yannick Rieu surrounds himself with 4 of the most talented musicians of their generation: Louis-Vincent Hamel on drums, Rémi-Jean Le Blanc on electric bass and double bass, Daniel Thouin on keyboards and piano. “Generation Quartet” is intended to be a summary of the various influences that have marked Yannick Rieu’s career. Exploring the different “grooves” from R&B, funk music, jazz-rock, so-called classical music, drum and bass and ethnic music, Rieu nevertheless wishes to think outside the box through a more diversified exploration of linked harmonies. traditionally to these various musical genres. The whole bears the signature of the artist always in search of originality and balance.

Yannick Rieu: tenor and soprano saxophones, compositions
Daniel Thouin: piano and keyboards
Louis-Vincent Hamel: drums
Rémi-Jean Leblanc: electric bass/double bass


“A top-notch classic jazz quartet album.” ****1⁄2

– Dan McClenaghan – All About Jazz, USA


– Couleurs Jazz, France

“His impeccable technique and invigorating breath make him a musician to be
placed in the same category as masters such as Chris Potter and Joe Lovano.”

– Steve Naud – Pan M 360, Canada

“Yannick Rieu offers us a sovereign novelty where time seems to have no hold on his patiently cultivated art.

– Christophe Rodriguez – SortiesJazzNights, Canada

“Yannick Rieu has been consistently critically praised and awarded since the late 80s
as a saxophonist of the highest order, but widespread notice of the kind contemporaries like Joe Lovano and Chris Potter received has somehow eluded the québécois. However, there’s no denying he’s got the chops and artful expression to hang with those guys.”

– Victor Aaron – Something Else ! USA

“Rieu’s sublime mastery of tenor and soprano saxophone shines through these eight original compositions. Qui Quen Grogne is enthusiastically recommended especially for jazz saxophone connoisseurs.”

– Midwest Book Review, USA

“Yannick Rieu in a state of grace.” [COUP DE CŒUR]

– Dom Imonk – La Gazette Bleue, France

“What begin as simple melodies expand as the group improvises together, becoming more elaborate, moving a step beyond the listener’s expectations. Musical conversations intertwine, achieving a truly unified sound.”

– The Jazz Music Blog, Australia

“I think this cat is a master of low key pyrotechnic here… this is a deep player that really knows how to dig in and find the music. Well done.”

– Chris Spector – Midwest Record, USA


Haiying Song / National & International

Productions Yari
9 rue Saint-Gabriel
Saint-Gabriel de Brandon (QC)
J0K 2N0, Canada

Luce Couture / Québec & Canada