Wherever he goes, accordionist Lionel Suarez imposes his delicacy and creativity... Through composite worlds that he navigates with the joy of a child and the wisdom of a sage, he revives colours and vitality.
His ability to play anything can certainly be attributed to the dual education of life and music: the ballroom, a "sociological phenomenon that cuts across the tumults of the world" as depicted in Ettore Scola's film, and a diligent classical training, that won him an award at the Marseille Conservatory.
Whether it's scholarly or popular, the adolescent stands out from mandatory curricula, avoiding determinism. It is said that he is of a different breed, more adventurous, drawn by natural curiosity. He seeks elsewhere, defying styles and preconceptions. As a pianist and bassist for a time, he assimilates hours upon hours of repertoire before finding himself in the hope of freedom offered by jazz.
These adventures enrich his vocabulary, shape his musical signature, and his virtuosic versatility earns the admiration of his peers. His early years and his foundational friendship with Claude Nougaro solidify his reputation, making him a sought-after sideman on stage and in studio. He contributes to the recording of over a hundred albums, film soundtracks, and numerous performances with artists such as Charles Aznavour, Renaud, Pierre Perret, Véronique Sanson, Sanseverino, Zebda, Olivia Ruiz, Yael Naim, Bernard Lavilliers, Beth Ditto, Gabriel Yared, Harry Connick Jr., Birds on a Wire, Féfé, François Morel, Angélique Kidjo... The list of his collaborations is endless.
His jazz sensitivity becomes more defined, and new experiences multiply for the man whom Marcel Azzola considered a little brother. He performs with Richard Bona, Sylvain Luc, Didier Lockwood, André Ceccarelli, Médéric Collignon, Bernard Lubat, Sixun, and the National Jazz Orchestra...
Unclassifiable, this lover of words shines through his ability to illuminate the verses of poets. He highlights emotions with rare accuracy, sublimates meaning with utmost elegance, and distinguishes himself with an ultra-rhythmic, orchestral playing style, combining improvisation and devilish harmonisations.
He charmed the immense Jean Rochefort, with whom he created the original music for the play "Entre autres" in 2007.
Nearly three years of collaboration and the encouragement of the famous actor confirmed his qualities as a composer, his desire to write, and his attraction to the duo format, which he cherishes above all else.
Explosive and jocular with the vocal alchemist and scat singer André Minvielle; attentive, breathing tenderness and delicacy with the trumpeter Airelle Besson; and later on, the numerous literary concerts with Clotilde Courau, Michel Vuillermoz, Piers Faccini, Anne Suarez, or to support his friend Daniel Mille with the immense Jean-Louis Trintignant...
In 2011, he established his own record label, with which he produced or co-produced albums such as "Cocanha" in a trio with drummer-cellist Pierre-François "Titi" Dufour and guitarist Kevin Seddiki, "Tandem" with André Minvielle, "Quarteto Gardel" with Airelle Besson, Vincent Segal, and Minino Garay, or "Leprest, pacifiste inconnu" with Jehan.
He composes songs with Allain Leprest, Art Mengo, and, for the cinema, the soundtrack for Jean-Henri Meunier's film "La tête cachetonnée. »
For the theater, he composes and performs the music for "Piaf, l'être intime," which he created with Clotilde Courau, and for "Ici, Nougaro," a play by Charif Gattas with the actor Grégory Montel.
And as if that was not enough, in 2018, Lionel wholeheartedly embarked on the artistic direction of an event in Bertholène, his hometown, where he invited all his artist friends. The gathering combined a pedagogical residency with a program of concert creations. The poster proudly announced "Le Bretelle(s) Festival / pour sortir de l'autoroute..." (The Bretelle(s) Festival / to exit the highway...)
Today, enriched by so many collaborations, it is through his solo performances that the accordionist tells his story, weaving the fabric of a fascinating musical monologue.
In line with this multifaceted journey, there is one common thread: an intense quest for meaning.
Lionel Suarez is supported by the Inter Fréquence Foundation, "A foundation under the aegis of the Fondation de France."