French, born in Paris in 1959; lives in Ghent since 1985.
It was at age 5 or 6, while listening to his uncle playing clarinet along with records by Django, that René first fell for this kind of music!!!
Following this came a time of almost daily listening to mainstream jazz (Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Billie Holliday…) as heard on French radio throughout the 1970s.
Also, one day in 1970, his father (himself an amateur guitarist) made him listen to a certain Django Reinhardt, whose ever so musical phrasing, touch of melancholy and unusual tone palette led to an immediate connection. The need for self-expression was to follow…
It was thus Django and his gang (Baro, Sarrane and Matelo Ferret) that made René take up the guitar at the age of 17 together with his mate Gérard, with whom he began playing the blues.
Takes lessons from Pierre Cullaz in Paris from 1978 to 1980.
Arrives in Begium in 1985 where he meets Koen De Cauter.
Plays with ”Myosotis” (Philippe de Chaffoy, Sabine Mauquoy, Jo Van Houtte) in 1986.
Creation of the group ”Anouman” (André Bombelijn, Geert Slock, Mario Vermandel, Sabine…) in which he plays from 1987 to 1992.
Plays guitar now and again with the Grand Orchestre de Marcq en Baroeul lead by Marc Bollen.
Is part of the valse musette ensemble ”crêpe musette”.
Follows the course given by Romane at the ATLA school in Paris from 1996 to 1999.
Plays banjo and rhythm guitar in New Orleans jazz bands (”Jerry's Dixie Devils”) from 1997 to 1999.
Starts and plays with the band ”groupe Moretti” (with musicians from Sint-Niklaas) from 1997 to 2000.
Sometimes plays with the accordeonists Gerry Creve and Eddy Claes.
Occasionally plays duos with Patrick Cattoir and Storro Limberger.
Backs the Antwerp singer Wannes Van de Velde in 2003.
Currently plays with ”Billets Doux”.
His musical language has been formed through listening to mainstream big bands, musette accordeonists, gipsy musicians, French chanson and musicals, but also through the influence of his father…
Always tries to create his own phrases and to make sure that they are lyrical. Does not try to be a ”virtuoso”, and can't see why he should. Learns much from people he meets, and thus makes progress…