JAKEZ FRANCOIS (FRANCE)
Jakez FRANCOIS comes from a family of Breton musicians, and a friend of the family, the well-known Breton harpist Alan Stivell, introduced him to the Celtic harp. Jakez studied classical music at the Conservatories of Nantes and Tours, before moving to Boulogne, where he won first prize in the harp class. He studied under Mmes Catherine de Preissac, Marileine Bouchaud, Isabelle Perrin and Annie Fontaine and had the opportunity of advice from Gérard Devos and Catherine Michel. These different teachers and the many contacts he has subsequently been able to make with notable harpists and instructors resulted in his developing a technique that has evolved from the various schools of harp playing with which he has been involved.

Alongside his studies of the classical harp, he has specialised in the Celtic harp, for which he has been awarded numerous prizes among them the World Harp Trophy for the Celtic harp, the first prizes in festivals at Kan Ar Bobl and Dinan. Jakez is both a composer and an improviser. He takes an active part in workshops for improvisation on the harp, as well as in the European training courses in Harp Improvisation in Lyon, France. He has won many awards for both composition and improvisation, and has already been awarded with a Commande d’État for the composition of a work for solo harp.

For the last 10 years, however, Jakez has been involved with harps in a quite different way, for he is now director of Camac Production. His training as a harpist, together with his collaboration with Joël Garnier, from whose experience he benefits, has made him a particularly knowledgeable spokesman among harpists and their pupils.