Jean-Jacques Milteau

He falls in love with the harmonica in the sixties after listening to the records of various folk and rock artists (Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones). A trip to the US gives him an opportunity to try his luck first-hand with the blues, and he launches into a musical career at the end of the 1970s, at first as a sideman with various leading French.

The release in 1989 of his first solo album, « Blues Harp », marks the start of his career as a bandleader with Manu Galvin on guitar. In 1992 he receives his first Victoire de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy in France) for the album « Explorer ».

A major change takes place in 2001 with the « Memphis » album, recorded for Universal in the US with major African-American blues artists. This recording is awarded a Victoire de la Musique the following year in the Best Blues Album category. All these recent albums have various characteristics in common:

– a strong blues-soul leaning
–  a mix of original compositions and covers
–  the marked presence of American blues singers and players, most of them very well-known, including Terry Callier, Gil Scot-Heron and Demi Evans
–  a perfect balance of vocal and instrumental tracks (guitar, keyboards, horns…)

In this second period of his recording career, JJ Milteau seems to have reached full-grown artistic maturity. It helps him further his musical ambition, concentrating more on the whole band sound than on any specific instrument, like Paul Butterfield before him. These last years, he has been touring all over Europe ; the United States ; Canada ; Africa ; Central America ; the Caribbean Islands ; the Indian Ocean and in Taiwan, Mainland China, Singapore…

When he’s not touring, JJ finds time for other activities, including the writing of several instructions books for harp players. He also hosts a weekly radio show for the TSF network. In 1997, he created a web site : a « cybercity » devoted to the harmonica, including a museum, a school, a concert bar and numerous pieces of information and connections in English, French and Polish.

Two models of harmonica made by the famous brand Hohner, bear his name.

He published numerous teaching harmonica playing booklets, CDs, audio tapes for both beginners and achieved players, and recently a video.

The “Soul Conversation” project revisits blues, soul, folk and rock sounds with flair and originality. JJ Milteau’s new album introduces two first-class African-American vocalists, Michael Robinson and Ron Smyth, with the added attraction of JJ’s long time guitar associate, Manu Galvin, bass player Gilles Michel and drummer Christophe Deschamps. In addition to several original compositions penned by various members of the group, this set showcases unconventional readings of classics by the likes of Curtis Mayfield, J.B. Lenoir, Stephen Stills and the Jagger/Richards duet.