French composer and musician. Jean-Michel Jarre was born in Lyon, France in 1948. His family is one of musicians, and Jean-Michel starts studying piano at the age of five. After experimenting with classical music, jazz and rock, he joins Groupe de Recherches Musicales - Music Research Group in 1968. This is a electroacoustic group that explores and experiment with modern music and instruments. He becomes a pupil of Pierre Schaeffer of the group, and in 1971 he releases his first single and shortly thereafter his first album.

J-M is not getting much attention for his music, and he tries to define a style of his own, without succeeding. He starts writing music for films and for singers. In 1977 (1976 in France) he releases the Oxygene album, an album where he finally has found what he's been looking for. The music is soft and lively, rhythmic and minimalist with synthesizers and natural sound samplings mixed together. The album is an instant hit on the charts all over the world. Jean-Michel travels around the world, promoting the album.

In 1978 his second album Equinoxe is released, and it becomes as successful as Oxygene. At this time, Jarre holds a series of gigantic outdoor concerts something that will become something of a trademark for him. Over a million people see him in Paris. The 1981 follow-up Magnetic Fields also becomes a big hit, and Jarre goes for a tour in China, the first ever by a western artist. As usual it is a grand spectacle with Jarre with laser shows, synthesizers and 35 instrumentalists. The five China concerts are recorded and releases as Concerts In China, 1982.

After this hugely commercial period, Jean-Michel records a new album in 1983. The record Music For Supermarkets is released in the smallest edition ever printed - only one record is made. Jarre has now been evolving musically and have started using samples to a greater extent. Jean-Michel now works with the legendary Fairlight synthesizers and the 1984 Zoolook is built around rhythms created by voice samples. Zoolook is a commercial setback for Jarre, but he is not let down. He is now secure in his music, and wants to reach out to the audience.

1986 was Texas' 150th birthday, as well as NASA's 25th. Jean-Michel is invited to hold a giant concert in Houston to celebrate this. The concert used the skyline of the city as a screen; images projected on the facades. Music, fireworks, lasers, projections and lights all over Houston create one of the greatest concerts ever. Over 1.3 million people watch the venue from highways, parks and anywhere from where the famous skyline can be seen. Jarre created special music for this called "Rendez-Vous".

The album Rendez-vous was in the stores soon after, and it contained Ron's Piece, which was intended to be played by American astronaut Ron McNair in space - the first music ever performed there. Ron McNair was onboard Challenger with his saxophone on the tragic day of January 28, 1986.

The years that followed included several compilations of old work and relatively unsuccessful projects. He again mounted a giant concert, this time in Paris 1990, performing in front of two million people. He continues to release records, mostly with re-mixes of old material, and new works inspired by the old. It seems like he's been running out of steam and ideas right now, and the public isn't responding as they used to. In 2000 he released a new studio album Metamorphoses.

Discography - some live albums and compilations not included


reference:jeanmicheljarre.com, revolution, artist direct

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