Jean-Philippe Cypres – Petite Fleur

Congrats to Jean-Philippe from Birmingham Alabama, our new Harmonica Studio Legend! Check out his awesome gypsy jazz interpretation of "Petite Fleur" by Sidney Bechet.

 Let's give him support in a comment below:)

Member Interview:

What harmonica model(s) do you play?

I play a 14 hole Suzuki Chromatic X most exclusively because I love the range it has. I also have a Hohner SuperX 16 hole, a Grégoire Maret Suzuki G-48 and 2 Hohner CX12.

When did you start learning harmonica?

I started learning when I was 8 years old.  My uncle had a Larry Adler chromatic (he didn't play), he let me use it and after a while, I was able to play easy melodies by ear. I was never told the significance of the piston (slide) and was always confused by it but found some use for it anyway ;} Soon after I discovered Blues with J.J Milteau and Sonny Terry as my top 2, and I devoted the next 30 some years to playing the diatonic. I played in a few bands as a side thing, my main profession was photography.  Then I met a gypsy jazz group and I realized this is what I wanted to play! I also realized quickly I had to learn to play the chromatic!  That was a difficult transition because I cannot read music.  The only way was to memorize the tunes in whatever key it was. After 2 years of understudies I became a regular band member! I am still striving to learn everyday.

What are your top 3 favorite songs to play?

My top 3 songs:  Nuages, Troublant Bolero, Chega De Saudade.  

What are some of your musical goals?

My musical goals are to be able to play gypsy jazz at a good level, which means for me acquiring good technical fluency and practice, practice to achieve better variety in my solo phrasings.

How long have you been a Harmonica Studio member?

I have been a harmonica studio member since it's conception. When I lived in New-York, I made a point to go see Yvonnick play in various venues. I thought he was the "son of Toots"!  I decided it was time to take lessons from him. Later, he told me about his website going live; I joined immediately! I moved away a year later but I am so glad to still have access to a bit of Yvonnick's gift in my life.

What do you like about it? How has it helped you?

I love the depth of the website, the vast amount of courses with videos, soundtracks, tutorials, etc, etc... I could spend 3-4 years studying and going through the courses and not get close to the end. There is so much material for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, all the way to Grand Wizards, which is not me and you.

What’s your favorite courses/lessons on Harmonica Studio?

The site has helped me to become serious about getting results. I now can focus on one lesson at a time, one goal at a time which in the end,  helps me believe I can become the player I thrive to be. Harmonica Studio is a no pressure zone, all for me, with all the answers I need, right at my finger tips. I love all the Jazz courses. Listening to Yvonnick play the standards and his take on improvisations is priceless. The exercises help me develop the necessary mechanics to play better in all keys. Yvonnick leads you expertly to play in different tonal modes, always "in tempo"!  

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  • Jean-Philippe, your playing is spectacular! I enjoy classic French songs, and have played a number of them on a diatonic. Now, a year into this course with a chromatic in my hands, I am striving to get the tones you have demonstrated in your submission. Bravo!

  • Very nice playing, Jean-Phillippe! I really enjoyed your gypsy jazz version of Petite Fleur, by renounced clarinetist, Sidney Bechet.

  • Hi Jean-Philippe, Very nice interpretation in the Gipsy Jazz style. It reminds me of the south of France. I live also in Alabama and New Orleans is not far away. Very good continuation.

  • J-P, I love your tone and tremelo. The chrom sounds beautiful with gypsy jazz…I couldn’t agree more. It’s also a beastly challenging instrument. The alto sax player I study with here in Austin says the chromatic and slide trombone are the hardest instruments he’s ever played…and he’s tried em all. Keep it up, man! How many gypsy jazz cats are in Birmingham, AL!?

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