“Raven is a jazz quartet that composes and arranges songs both in English and in French about ravens ! It has an oneiric and powerful repertoire, “that you must discover on its natural habitat…the stage” – JazzMan Magazine.
“A Revelation” – L’Humanité
“An artist to follow” – 20 Minutes
“A little gem of an album” – Jazznews Magazine
“A unique album, one must undoubtedly listen to” – Culture Jazz
“All the ingredients have been combined to salute the arrival of a strong new talent” – Jazz Musica
“There is a voice there and an art of singing (reminding us sometimes of hungarian singer Gabor Winand) which forces respect, and that is in complete harmony with the horn. A strange enlightened character, well inhabited by its subject that elicits an authentic universe.” – Jazz Mag
Raven was born in 2012 from the feather of singer, composer and mellophone player Manu Domergue. He was widely inspired by a crow he owned during his childhood, and by the song “Black crow” by Joni Mitchell (also sung by fabulous polish singer Grzegorz Karnas). The symbol of this black bird has ever since held and important place in Manu’s creation process. Raven was awarded on 2013, the 1st price both from the jury and the audience at the Crest Jazz Vocal contest. After numerous concerts and with the support of the music label GAYA MUSIC PRODUCTION, the group recorded its first album : “Chercheur d’Orage” (storm seeker). This CD was released on January 29, 2015 for a full crowd at the famous parisian jazz club the New morning. Raven’s performance of March 6, 2015 at “Le Périscope” of Lyon was broadcasted live on Radio France and hosted by Alex Dutilh and Yvan Amar. Raven’s first album received the label “essential” from the Jazz News magazine on 2015 and its’ band leader : Manu Domergue was awarded the “Artist to follow” label. The group is currently working on its second album.
At 31 years, Manu Domergue already has a solid musical experience behind him. A singer and instrument player, he studied Vocal Jazz in California after earning his French horn degree in classical and jazz music from the Conservatory of Valence, France. When he returned to his homeland, he brought back with him a rare musical instrument from the US, the “Marching french horn”, also known as “mellophone”. He has been exploring the instruments’ possibilities in jazz and other types of music since then. In 2009, he was accepted at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris. Manu has made a great number of musical collaborations with musicians such as : Riccardo DEL FRA, Loïs LEVAN (Jazzman revelation of 2014 and 2016) The New Large Ensemble of Carine BONNEFOY, Mônica PASSOS (world jazz), Roy HARGROVE and MAGMA. He has also collaborated with the Franco-Malien group LANAYA and the pop band B R OAD WAY among others. He is currently the vocal teacher at the Didier Lockwood Music Center and is undergoing story-telling training at the “Maison du Conte” (the house of storytelling) in the Ile-de-France region.
Raphaël Illes holds a music degree from the Conservatory of Montpellier since 2000. He has studied with jazz musicians François THEBERGE, Pierre De BETHMANN and Peter GIRON. His endeavoring passion for swing brought him to Paris in order to collaborate with saxophone players Nicolas DARY and André VILLEGER. He has been Manu Domergue’s music companion for more than 10 years. He is today part of RAVEN as well as other bands like French Flair trio, Courir les rues et sa band’, Paris Jazz Lounge, JP Derourd Orchestre “music of Count Basie”, Olivia Ruiz.
Damien Varaillon-Laborie began playing bass self-taught before being accepted at the Marseille conservatory. At age 21, he put and end to his musicology studies in order to dedicate himself full-time to earning his music degrees in classical, jazz and chamber music. Later on, he was accepted in the jazz department at the Paris National Superior Conservatory for Music and Dance (CNSMDP). His playing experience boasts a wide range of musical contexts: symphonic music, notably with the Cannes philharmonic conducted by Philippe Bender, the Marseille Opera conducted by Jean Claude Casadesus, the “Orchestre des jeunes de la Méditerrannée” featuring Laurent Koercia and Olivier Charlier ; jazz festivals (Tanjazz in Morocco, Jazz à viennes , jazz in Martial , stockholm jazz festival …) ; in big bands with the Red Star Orchestra and Olivia Ruiz ; touring in places such as London, Mexico, Africa, South Coréa, Japan. ..) Recording and play with Magic Malik , Logan Richardson, Jeff Ballard , Perico Sambéat … teacher in the USA for the summer camp and festival Django in June.
Originally from Montpellier, South of France, Nicolas Grupp became passionate about playing drums at the age of 13. Before turning 18, he did his first gigs in a rock band that ultimately ended up playing 80 concerts during the three years of the groups’ existence. Nicolas started courses on jazz and West-African music at a music school called ‘Jam’ in Montpellier. In 2005 and 2008 he visited Mali with his drums in order to truly learn the Touareg rhythms. During these trips, he met with several Malian artists and groups, such as the well-known band Tinariwen with which he had the opportunity to play two concerts. In order to complete his music studies, Nicolas enrolled in the school of Didier Lockwood, CMDL, from which he graduated two years later with excellent grades. He currently resides in Paris and plays in numerous jazz and world music projects. He performs in France and abroad with artists such as Jérome Barde, Raven, Levis Reinhardt, François Théberge, Justin Adams, Terakaft and Tamikrest. Some of his most memorable concerts have been played at festivals such as Sziget, Glastonbury, and Printemps de Bourges. In addition to Europe, Nicolas has also been touring in the USA, Russia, and Western Africa.
Manu Domergue • mellophone/voice
Raphael Illes • sax
Damien Varaillon Laborie • double bass
Nicolas Grupp • drums , glockenspiel
|June 17th||Harbin||Grand Theater|
|June 18th||Tianjin||Grand Theater|
|June 19th||AVAILABLE||FOR BOOKING|
|June 20th||Hefei||On the Way|
|June 21st||Nanjing||OLA Art Space|
|June 22nd||Guangzhou||JZ Club|
|June 24th||Guangzhou||Bel Ami|
|June 25th||AVAILABLE||FOR BOOKING|