1st albumAVAILABLE !

The Band

Jessie Lee and the Alchemists

Jessie Lee

and the Alchemists

Biographie

Singer/guitarist Jessie Lee Houllier and guitarist/composer Alexis Didier (alias Mr. Al) first crossed paths on the Paris blues scene in 2011. A year later, they were performing together, first playing blues-rock covers and then their own songs. Excited by both song-writing and performing, they decided to put a band together that would reflect all their musical influences.

So, in 2014, a solid rhythm section was added to back Jessie Lee's powerful vocals and Alexis's lead guitar work. The duo became a quartet with a hardy new groove laid down by Laurent Cokelaere on bass and Julien Audigier on drums. Soon after they were joined by Laurian Daire on keyboards, adding a subtle finishing touch to the alchemy of the band.

Although they cover three generations, all five band members grew up listening to American and British music. So it was only natural that this became the source of their inspiration and energy. Together they perform original songs that reflect their different musical backgrounds, a well-balanced blend of blues, soul, rock and jazz. Influences from the past drive their creativity, but their music is unmistakably modern and original.

After three years and a multitude of concerts, a debut album became a necessity and finally saw the day on April 13, 2018.

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Jessie Lee Houllier

Jessie Lee

Houllier

Lead Vocal & Guitar

Infos

Jessie Lee grew up surrounded by blues and rock. She started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 6, progressing quickly with different teachers. She gradually moved on to the electric guitar and began accompanying herself singing. Thanks to the musical environment she grew up in, she was on stage at an early age and recorded three blues-rock cover albums with professional musicians between the age of 11 and 15.

At 18, she enrolled in the ATLA school of music in Paris. Upon graduation, she was also awarded the MIMA contemporary music accreditation from the FNEIJMA and was invited by the school to teach in first the junior then the professional program. Eager to learn and progress, she enrolled in the contemporary music department of the CRR music conservatory in Paris in 2013. She obtained her DEM degree in 2016 by unanimous decision of the jury.

In her student years, Jessie Lee also performed regularly with a number of bands of different influences: Quartier Libre (instrumental hip hop), The Cokepits (rhythm and blues) and Big Dez (blues). She was also invited to play with many of the big names on the French blues scene including Franck Ash, Manu Galvin and Eric Sauviat.

At the end of 2011, she crossed paths with guitarist-songwriter Alexis Didier. The good vibes they experienced playing together on stage led them to form a Blues-Rock cover band the following year, sharing their talent, vocals and guitar work. Soon they were writing songs, performed by the band Jessie Lee & the Alchemists. Together with Laurent Cokelaere on bass, Julien Audigier on drums and Laurian Daire on keyboards, this band now plays for audiences throughout France and internationally.

In 2012, she was invited to sing solo in a gospel choir alongside Joniece Jamison and Michael Robinson.

Regularly compared to Janis Joplin, Jessie Lee was also singled out by Franck Tortiller to interpret his tribute album "Janis the Pearl" for Jazz Day in Paris in 2015.

That same year, she played guitar and sang backup on stage for well-known French musician Sinclair.

In June 2015, she accepted to take part in the popular French TV singing contest "The Voice", in which a wider audience discovered her talent.

In 2017 and 2018, she played guitar and sang backup in the live band accompanying the musical comedy "Un été 44" that played the Comédia theater in Paris for 6 months.

In December 2017, she was invited by Premiers de Cordée to sing at the Paris Olympia theater alongside Louis Bertignac, Michael Jones and Mat Bastard (Skip the Use).

She is presently playing with a number of blues and popular musicians including Laurent Cokelaere and Michel Amsellem, as well as Francis Arnaud in "The Respect Sixters" Aretha Franklin tribute show. At the same time, she tours with her band Jessie Lee & The Alchemists who released their debut album in April 2018. A second album is in the works, scheduled for release in September 2020.

Alexis Didier

Alexis

Didier

Lead Guitar & Vocal

Infos

Growing up in a musical universe, sitting in on the recording sessions of his father, Roger Didier, it was only natural that Alexis would eventually pick up a guitar and start playing.

His encounter with popular music and blues guitarist Réné Lebhar fed his urge to persevere and improve. This led to night courses at the music conservatory while at the same time playing in different bands.

At the age of 20, he enrolled in the ATLA school of music in Paris. When he graduated, he was invited to teach in their professional program, specialized in jazz and blues. He has been perfecting his teaching skills there for more than 20 years now.

In the early 2000s, he recorded two albums under the name "The Mr Al Blues Band".

Eclectic stage and studio musician, always eager to learn and improve, he widely collaborated with soul, hip-hop and popular music artists before returning to his first love... jazz and blues.

In 2014, he teamed up with Jessie Lee Houllier to form the band "Jessie Lee & The ALchemists", composing and arranging as well as playing guitar. This band gave him the opportunity to combine all his musical influences in both his songwriting and playing, including blues-rock with a distinctive groove, jazz and improvisation, one of his specialties. A first album came out in 2018 under the band's name, followed by a tour throughout France and abroad. A new album is in the works and scheduled for release in mid-2020.

Laurent Cokelaere

Laurent

Cokelaere

Bass

Infos

Laurent has been playing bass (electric - acoustic - double bass) professionally since the late 1970s. He is also a composer and arranger.

He has accompanied the following artists on tour: Alan Stivell, Jean-Claude Vannier, Michel Fugain, Enzo Enzo, Kent, Sheila, Michel Sardou, Keren Ann, Yves Duteil, Nolwenn Leroy, Jean-Jacques Milteau, Bill Deraime, Patrick Verbeke … But also from time to time for TV and radio shows, concerts or albums: Charles Aznavour, Renaud, Maurane, Daniel Lavoie, Michel Jonasz, Véronique Sanson, Bernard Lavilliers, Eddy Mitchell, Florent Pagny, Francis Cabrel, Alain Souchon, Laurent Voulzy, Maxime Leforestier, Catherine Lara, Diane Dufresne, Gilbert Bécaud, Philippe Lavil, Richard Gotainer, Le Grand Magic Circus, Murray Head, Annie Cordy, Isabelle Boulay, Julien Clerc, Patrick Bruel, Christophe Maé, Christophe Willem, Stromaë, Abd Al Malik, Christine and the Queens and even Stevie Wonder !

He currently plays in the following groups :

«Jessie Lee & the ALCHEMISTS» with the young singer-guitarist Jessie Lee (the first eponymous album came out in April 2018, the second will be released in 2020)

«Les RAPETOUS» with the guitarists Basile Leroux, Manu Galvin et Serge Malik, and including guests Paul Personne, Norbert «Nono» Krief, Axel Bauer, Didier Lockwood, Jimi Drouillard or Larry Carlton.

«RESPECT SIXTERS» Tribute group of the legendary Aretha Franklin with 6 brilliant singers : Lisbet Guldbaek, Caroline Devismes, Sophie Proix, Jessie Lee, Lena Woods, Audrey Lurie and Amalya Delepierre.

«SAUVIAT-BENJELLOUN Blues & Soul Band» with the guitarists and slide players and singers Eric Sauviat et Michaal Benjelloun. Francis Arnaud on drums, and guest singer Lena Woods.

In 2018 and 2919, Laurent also played with artists as diverse as le Sacre du Tympan, Laurent Gerra ou Sylvie Vartan.

Stephane Minana-Ripoll

Stephane

Minana-Ripoll

Drums

Infos

Born in Spain, Stéphane acquired a taste for music from various horizons when he visited South America, Mexico, the United States, Europe and Africa, the continent of rhythm par excellence. He loves multi-culture influences, and feeds on them while developing his own music.

He started studying music in Paris in 1991 and in a few years obtained diplomas from schools such as the CIM, the Arcueil Cachan Conservatory (gold medal for drums), the Issy les Moulineaux Conservatory (higher prize in classical percussion), the Dante Agostini school (1st prize in drums and a teaching diploma).

His sense of stylistic synthesis and his efficiency have allowed him to play in music groups with very different styles: in 2000 he participated in a project mixing hip hop music and dance with the company Trafic de Style; from 2000 to 2004 he founded Flux Club, a jazz-funk group based on improvisation and produced two records; in 2008 he met Leonard Lecloarec with whom he carried out numerous cinema-concerts and assembled the group Animal Organic with whom he recorded an album; 2010 he recorded the album Lazy Star by the group Big Dez, house band for the blues jam at the Caveau des Oubliettes for many years. Here he met and played with the Blues artists Sax Gordon, Boney Fields, Lucky Peterson, Tony Coleman, Charles Pasi (with whom he participated in the album Sometimes Awake in 2014).

In 2012 he joined with Mike Karagozian (composer and musical director) the jazz dance company PGK with which he continues to perform.

In 2016, he collaborated with the Georgian guitarist Irakli K on an electro jazz album where he did the sound design. It was through Philippe Fernandez, a member of the Big Dez group, that he got to know Jessie Lee and The Alchemists.

He joined the group in summer of 2018. He’s in the Moovie Funk Band project (film music) with Laurian Daire as well as with the group of Rythm’n’Blues Space Captains and the jazz group Houn who have just made an album.

Photo by Brice de mont

Gilles Erhart

Laurian

Daire

Keyboard

Infos

Laurian Daire started with the classical piano at the age of 11 and quickly learned modern music by listening to the records of the Beatles, Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder.

After a solid training (1st prize of piano-jazz at the Conservatory of Issy-les-Moulineaux, studies of harmony and Big-Band arrangement at the Conservatory of the 9th arrondissement of Paris, composition and orchestration at the Conservatory from Saint-Maur-des-Fossés) he went professional in 2001 and started teaching at the Conservatory of Evry in 2002.

He also intervenes in the framework of the preparation for the State Diploma for various training organizations (Pole Sup'93, Cefedem de Normandie). His discovery of the Hammond organ and its fantastic sound possibilities led him to take an interest in "vintage" keyboards: Moog, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Clavinet have since become his favorite instruments.

He’s been on stage and in the studio with very diverse artists such as Imany, Khaled, Calypso Rose, Alain Chamfort, Gaëlle Buswel, Nina Attal, Robyn Bennett and in the musicals "Dirty Dancing" and "Bodyguard". He has also participated in numerous TV shows (Victoires de la Musique, César Ceremony, Telethon ...) as well as in film-concerts with the Paris Symphonic Orchestra (Ratatouille, Festival des musiques à l'image).

He is regularly called upon for arrangement work both in the studio with Yann Cole, Romain Lemire, Jeff Ludovicus, the Leeway group and for live performances with Jean & Thomas Bellorini, Pierre Guillois, the Chamber Orchestra of Paris. His passion for orchestration led him to mount several projects including "The Beatles Revisited" where he rearranged the songs of Lennon / McCartney for a symphonic orchestra with choir and "Moovie Funk Band" where he reinvented the big soundtracks of films with a brassy funk group.

He participated in Jessie's first studio recordings when she was only 14 years old; he recorded for the first album of "Jessie Lee & The Alchemists" released in 2018 and has toured with the group in France and abroad.

He will provide all the keyboards for the second album, which will be released in 2020.

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