André Ceccarelli

André Ceccarelli

“The beat, boy, keep the beat !” André “Dédé” Ceccarelli has never forgotten his father’s advice. You could even say he keeps it close at hand. At sixty, Dédé still shines with the love of playing as much as he did when he was a young drummer who had come to Paris to break into music.

His career began in the 1960’s. After playing in the Aimé Barelli Orchestra in Monaco, he quickly became known as an excellent jazz drummer in France and Italy. In parallel to his jazz career, he became a studio musician of choice in the 1970’s and 1980’s. For several years, he recorded from 9 a.m. to midnight nearly every day. “Back then, sometimes we’d record an LP in one day,” says Ceccarelli, who has recorded more than 1,000 albums.
It wasn’t long before Dédé became a major figure in jazz and French music. In 1993 he won the Victoire de la Musique (the French “Grammy” award) and the Django d’Or award for the album “Hat Snatcher”. As early as 1998, SACEM honored him with the Grand Prix du Jazz for lifetime achievement. His talent was widely recognized, and in the world of jazz, he has long been introduced as someone who “needs no introduction.” Here are a few of the musical greats Dédé has collaborated with in jazz, rock, pop and soul : Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Chick Corea, Michel Jonasz, Didier Lockwood, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Michel Legrand, Charles Aznavour, Martial Solal, Henri Salvador, Tina Turner, Michel Portal, Lou Bennett, Maurane, Sylvain Luc, Bireli Lagrène, Stéfano Di Batista, Claude Nougaro, Richard Galliano, Brad Mehldau...

Today, Ceccarelli is still “keeping the beat” in many groups, as a composer as well as drummer. He will soon be celebrating the ten-year anniversary of Trio Sud with partners Sylvain Luc and Jean-Marc Jafet. He has also taken the lead of a new quartet called “Le Coq et La Pendule,” in tribute to his dear departed friend Claude Nougaro.
For the Ceccarellis, the love of sharing music began as a family, and in 2010 Dédé will have the pleasure of sharing the stage with his father, brother and son (all drummers), as well as many friends, in the “Ceccarelli Family” project.
Open-minded and forward-thinking, Dédé’s approach keeps music alive and fresh. His kindness and modesty reminds us that often the greatest of performers are also the most humble.