At the age of ten, his two brothers, a clarinetist and a pianist, guide him through to the tone of the saxophone while listening to Paul Desmond and Sydney Bechet records. It was an absolutely eye-opening experience that led him to start his musical studies at the Orsay music academy with saxophonist André Beun.
When he was twelve, he started organizing small playing sessions with friends of his age practicing improvisations in the New Orleans style.
Later on, his brother Vincent, who originally started on piano, switched to electric bass and invited him to take part in rehearsals during which he discovered the world of pop and rock while learning to play drums on his own, an instrument that he is still very fond of today.
His other teacher, Daniel Petitjean trained him to the music of the classical saxophone but initiated him to jazz as well listening to Charlie Parker and Eric Dolphy and well known twentieth century composers, Hindemith and Stravinsky.
An avid learner and a dreamer he spent hours improvising in his bedroom sometimes paying little attention to his studies.
When he reached fifteen, he was invited to play with local amateur musicians. It was a significant experience for him to the world of Jazz as opposed to his classical training and studies. Aware of his gaps in knowledge, he signed up at the Centre d ’Informations Musicales (School of Jazz) headed by Alain Guérrini. He met saxophonists Jean-Claude Forenbach, Claude Tissandier, Xavier Cobo and Charles Schneider: he studied jazz harmony, transcriptions and composition.
His attendance at a concert of the baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams with the trio’s pianist Georges Arvanitas triggered his desire to become a professional musician.
At the age of seventeen, he played in numerous churches in a duo with organist Bruno Mathieu, a student of Jean Langlais and Jean Guillou
In 1983 he was awarded a saxophone and chamber music prize and gave up that same year his classical studies to dedicate himself to Jazz and improvisation.
He moved to Paris at the age of twenty and began to hang out with musicians of his age:
Vincent Chaintrier, Christophe Wallemme , Christophe Marguet, Ludovic de Preissac, Gilles Réa, Pascal Gomez, Michel Vander Ersh, and guitarist Alain Blessing who introduced him to Bela Bartok’s music.
In 1986, he met trumpeter François Chassagnite with whom he became friends and who hired him in his quintet to play alongside Alain Jean-Marie, Georges Brown and Ricardo del Fra.
Propelled into the world of French jazz, he is introduced by saxophonist Hervé Meschinet to pianist René Urtreger. Impressed with his musicality he is invited to perform in Urtreger’s sextet in the first 1987 “Jazz Festival de La Vilette” to play with Stéphane Belmondo, Hervé Meschinet, Christian Escoudé, Eric Dervieu and double bassist Niels Orsted Pedersen.
This concert was to be a turning point in his career as a young musician.
That same year he obtained his Certificate of Proficiency in Jazz.
He then moved on and joined numerous orchestras namely those of Gérard Badini, Michel Legrand and Martial Solal whose complex orchestrations enthralled him.
He is asked for by musicians who appreciate his eclectism and originality performing alongside: Ricardo del Fra, Hervé Sellin, Daniel Humair, Brandford Marsalis, Jean-Loup Longnon, Henri Texier, Richard Galliano, Patrice Caratini, Louis and François Moutin, Michel Perez, Maurice Vander, Michel Bénita, Gordon Beck, Billy Hart, Alain Jean-Marie, Eric Lelann, Emmanuel Bex, Enrico Rava, Didier Lockwood, Dominique di Piazza, Manuel Rocheman, Francois Verly, Olivier Louvel, Bojan Z, André Ceccarrelli, Stéphane Huchard, Pierre de Bethmann, Aldo Romano, Thierry Péala, Laurent De Wilde, the Belmondo brothers, the Swiss group Insideout, Pierre Bertrand and Nicolas Folmer, Simon Goubert, Jean-Pierre Como, Antonio Farao, Ludovic de Preissac, Pierrick Pedron , Alex Tassel, François Theberge, Diego Imbert, Franck Agulhon, Andy Emler, Michel Marre, the group Inlandsis, Ineke Vandoorn and Marc Van Hught….
In 1992 he started leading his own group writing rich and poetic music based on his experiences of the moment.
He played his first quartet with Bojan Z, Christophe Wallemme and Stéphane Huchard.
His first recording with Impro Primo awarded him with two prizes, the prix Django Reinhardt in 1993 and the Django d’or du 1er album: it was also at that time that he met the journalist and producer, Jean Michel Proust.
In 1995 he took part in André Ceccarelli’s quartet for whom he composed and recorded three albums.
In 1997 he signed a contract with the label RDC for five albums with producer Franck Hagège. His first album La danse des internotes with a quintet and pianist Manuel Rocheman was critically acclaimed in the media FFFF Télérama.
In 1999, he met drummer Franck Agulhon and bassist Diego Imbert and joined them in a trio, an ensemble that one of his favorite saxophonist exceled in: Sonny Rollins.
A major hit with the album Trio awarded him in 2000 the “Choc” of the year in the Jazzman review as well as the prize Victoires de la musique in the New Jazz Talent category.
That same year, Martine Tridde and Jean Goron of the French banking group foundation “BNP Paribas” decided to support his projects.
In 2001, in Athis Mons, Sylvain Beuf carried out an artist-in-residence program for eight musicians, Octovoice and met organist Emmanuel Bex and singer Thierry Peala.
He successfully released the albums Soul notes in 2003, Octovoice in 2004, Another Building in 2005 and Mondes Parallèles in 2007 for which a great number of French soloists were invited to play; Michel Perez, André Ceccarrelli, Jean-Pierre Como, Denis Leloup, Damien Argentieri, Fréderic Delestre, singer Laura Littardi as well as his friends Diego Imbert and Franck Agulhon.
When he met trombonist Denis Leloup in 2009 a sextet was created including saxophonist Pierrick Pedron with pianist Jean Yves Jung and his trio. He decided to record for the first time a live album, Joy, which, when released, was depicted as an album of maturity by the FFFF Télérama media.
In 2010, he set up a septet, Septissimo, with guitarist Michel Perez and played as a resident at the Parisian club, “Les 3 Arts”.
In 2011, he met guitarist Emmanuel Codjia who fascinated him with his guitar playing, inventiveness and virtuosity. Both were soon joined by bassist Philippe Bussonet, a member of the group Magma and drummer Julien Charlet. On this joint venture he composed the album Electric Excentric.
Released in 2012, this album marked a turning-point in his composing career. It was also a return to his origins and musical beginnings. It is through the echo of rock, folk, jazz and classical music that Sylvain Beuf revisited his career as a composer, saxophonist and leader.
Ongoing with his creative projects, Sylvain Beuf has also been an educator for the past fifteen years. After three years performing in France and in Europe the group’s upcoming album Plénitude is scheduled for release in 2015.
Sylvain Beuf, who never ceases to amaze us, has developed a wonderful musical identity and pursues an active career as an eclectic musician, a prolix composer and an inspired soloist.