London, England-- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/26/2010 -- Jean-Michel Andre Jarre is a French composer, performer and music producer. He is regarded as a pioneer in the electronic, synthpop, ambient and New Age genres, as well as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his music which feature lights, laser displays and fireworks. Jarre has sold an estimated 80 million albums and singles. He was the first western musician to be allowed to perform in the People's Republic of China, and holds the world record for the largest ever audience at an outdoor event. He has three children, and is married to French actress Anne Parillaud.
His first mainstream success was the 1976 album Oxygène. Recorded in a makeshift studio at his home,the album went on to sell an estimated 12 million copies. Oxygène was followed in 1978 by Équinoxe, and in 1979 Jarre performed to a record-breaking audience of more than a million people at the Place de la Concorde, a record he has since broken on three separate occasions. More albums were to follow, but his 1979 concert served as a blueprint for his future performances around the world. Several of his albums have been released to coincide with large-scale outdoor events, and he is now perhaps as well known as a performer, as he is a musician.
It was around this age that he studied classical piano. The experience proved difficult, but several years later he changed teachers and began to work on his musical scales. His more general interest in musical instruments was sparked by the discovery of a 'trumpet violin' created by Boris Vian, found at the Saint-Ouen flea market where his mother sold antiques. His mother regularly took him to her friend's Paris jazz club, Le Chat Qui Pêche where saxophonists Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, and trumpet players Don Cherry and Chet Baker regularly performed. As an art form, Jazz introduced Jarre to the idea that music may be "descriptive, without lyrics". He was also influenced by the work of French artist Pierre Soulages; aged 14-15 he viewed an exhibition by the artist at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
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