Umlaut Big Band

Umlaut Big Bznd

© Léa Lanoë

The Umlaut Big Band is an orchestra of fourteen musicians. Since 2011, under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, the band has been exploring both the historical repertoire of the Big Bands (1920-1940) from rare sound and manuscript archives, those of Mary Lou Williams, Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter and other American and European artists, as well as a more contemporary creative repertoire with commissions to composers with an intimate relationship with jazz, such as Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Axel Dörner, Bertrand Denzler and Joel Grip. They have developed a repertoire of over 200 pieces and released 5 albums in 10 years.

Following the example of the early music orchestras, the historical research of the group is based on the conviction that the arrangers, rarely put forward in the history of jazz, are creators who constantly invent new forms.

Too rarely approached by today’s composers, the Big Band format lends itself ideally to rich sonic explorations, a dialogue between a long tradition linked to jazz and contemporary forms of invention.

In 2023, the Umlaut Big Band becomes the Umlaut Chamber Orchestra to bring Mary Lou Williams’ Zodiac Suite (1945) to life in a new version based on a critical study of the original manuscripts.

Coming from a “generation of musicians ready to go from one extreme to the other of jazz” (Jazz Magazine), the group favors acoustics and warm atmospheres, from large concert halls to village squares.

In residence at the Théâtre de l’Aquarium (La Cartoucherie, Paris 12e) since 2019, at the invitation of the company La Vie Brève.

Members of the band

Pierre-Antoine Badaroux
artistic director, alto saxophone

Antonin-Tri Hoang
alto saxophone, clarinet

Pierre Borel
tenor saxophone, clarinet

Geoffroy Gesser
tenor saxophone, clarinet

Benjamin Dousteyssier
alto, baritone and bass saxophone

Brice Pichard

Pauline Leblond

Gabriel Levasseur

Alexis Persigan

Michaël Ballue

Romain Vuillemin
guitar, banjo

Matthieu Naulleau

Sébastien Beliah
double bass

Antonin Gerbal

Nawel Benziane
production, communication, booking, tour manager



More info 26 June 2023
Umlaut Big Band - Fourbi
Théâtre de l’Aquarium, Paris (FR)

More info 30 June 2023
Umlaut Big Band - Fourbi

Festival Bruit, Théâtre de l’Aquarium, Paris (FR)


More info 01 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band - Mary's Ideas

Festival Rosa BonheurThomery

14 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Guinguette de Tours-sur-Loire (FR)

15 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Le Grand Jeu, Dignac (FR)

17 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

La Grange de l’Oiseau Bleu, Arthel (FR)

18 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Eymoutiers (FR)

20 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (FR)

21 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Ile de Ré, La Java des Baleines (FR)

22 July 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Festival du Souffle, Celles-Sur-Belle (FR)

More info 30 September 2023
Zodiac Suite

Théâtre de Saint- Quentin-en-Yvelines, scène nationale, Montigny-le-Bretonneux (FR)

More info 10 October 2023
Zodiac Suite

Théâtre de la Renaissance, Oullins (FR)

More info 18 November 2023
Zodiac Suite

Studio 104, Maison de la Radio, Paris (FR)

More info 17 December 2023
Umlaut Big Band

Théâtre de Chelles, Chelles (FR)

14 January 2024
Mary's Ideas

Théâtre de Choisy-le-Roi, Choisy-le-Roi (FR)

15 March 2024
Mary's Ideas

L’Hectare, Vendôme (FR)