Eve Risser


Formative years

Born in 1982 in Colmar, France, Eve Risser beginsplaying the piano and the flute as a child. She graduatesin flute and then piano at the conservatory of Colmar beforeshe was 18. Improvisation and jazz burst into her world at the Strasbourg Conservatory of music and becomesthe heart of her studies at the CNSM, National Conservatory of Music in Paris. She ispart of the Junior Liberation Music Orchestra of Charlie Haden, formed in 2006 forJazz à la Villette festival atLa Cité de la Musique in Paris.

US Experience

When she turns25, she sets out to walk alone in the canyons’ regions and in the west of the USA. She isthen invited to the High-Zero festival in Baltimore, where she joinsthe jazz department of the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University), directed by flutist and saxophonist Gary Thomas. She records with Ron Anderson on John Zorn's Tzadik record label, in 2011.

France and Europe

In France, her carrier also takes off as she becomes a member of the French Orchestre National de Jazz from 2008 to 2013 as pianist, flutist, improviser,andcomposer. She’s being asked to write commission pieces and becomes a voice in European improvised music. In 2009, her encounter with bassist Joel Grip marks the beginning of her commitment with Umlaut collective (established in Stockholm in 2004).

In 2008, Eve Risser presents her concerto written “for Barbie Guitar and Symphonic Orchestra”, which has had many lives since. The choice of this electronic toy as leading instrument highlights recurring themes inher body of work: humor, concern for more gender balance inmusicand rejection of cultural elitism. Influenced by piano player Carla Bley and double bass player Joëlle Léandre, she intends on taking control of her career and own projects.


Raised in the Vosges mountains in France, she says being inspired by nature, wide-open spaces, mountains, snow,and minerals to compose.Her poetic solo works, Des pas sur la neige(2015) and Après Un Rêve(2018)prove prepared piano has become her instrument of choice. But Risser’s search in music collides with the restrictive weight and size of the instrument. She wants to break the classic codes and the static ritual of concerts with extensive playing techniquesandexperimentation in staging.

The percussive potential of the piano, when installed in the heart of the audience, is also usedto make peoplefeel closer to the musicandmake themmove and dance (Rêve Parti, 2020).She acknowledges, “I like the physicality required by the piano; it resembles me. When you playthe flute, the whole body isimplied, but it only produces one sound at a time. In general, and paradoxically, I tend to be more focused when I must do several simultaneous things.”She enjoystakingdistance from “classical jazz”. She plays around the world with the jazz-pop duo Donkey Monkey, formed with drummer Yuko Oshima. Risser also explores free improvisation in many collaborations, for example in her duet with pianist Kaja Draksler,orin Brique, a punk-jazz quartet, or in La Sourde orchestra, where she mixes baroque, jazz and classical. The list of projects is long and varied. Music for ensembles and international recognitionShe has led and writtenthree compositional worksfor her two orchestras. Eve Risser’sWhite Desert Orchestra, created in 2014, gathers musicians from the European jazzscene. The Red Desert Orchestra in 2019, results from the meeting of European musicians with Malian and Burkinabe musicians. R(e)V(e)R, her company, was also created in 2019, twenty years after she started her professional career, to mark a journey into composition “from a poetic, stellar and mysterious music, towards a more rhythmic and solar side”in her own words.

Eve Risser was spotted by fanzine Downbeat and named one of the 10 most interesting pianists on the international scene by Jazznews magazine.

Downbeat und JazzMagazine

Eve Risser did play with her Duo Donkey Monkey in the « 12 Points Europe » network and did perform in many famous venues and festivals : The Sage (Gateshead), Unterfarth (München), Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Rumor (Utrecht), Vilnius Jazz festival, Tampere Jazz Festival, Umea Jazz festival, Lublin, CRacovie, Varsovie, Jazz in Malmö, Nefertiti (Göteborg), Jazz Forum (Bergen), Trondheim Jazz festival, usw...

Eve Risser 's premiere with her new White desert orchestra has been acclaimed on March 24th in Paris neighborhood (Festival Banlieues Bleues)

Read the review by Sebastian Scottney in London Jazz New :http://www.londonjazznews.com/2015/03/interview-eve-risser-banlieues-ble...