Jacky Craissac started out early as an international, professional drummer and percussionist.
He quickly became noticed on the international jazz scene for his exceptional rhythmic accuracy and musical instinct. The Italian press (Claudio Lo Cascio – Palerm Jazz Festival 1966) compared him to Elvin Jones and to Roy Haynes. He went on international tour from 1962 to 1968.
After touring abroad with different acts throughout the 1960s, he began traveling with a Swiss quintet and various American jazzmen such as Hal Singer, Bill Coleman, Al Lirvat, Lou Bennett, Ann Peter (a vocalist with the Peters Sisters), Vince Benedetti and Dizzy Reece, which took him to Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Israel, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the Caribbean and Morocco.
He played with a big band (Rome, 1969) as well as for the National Belgian Theater in Athens. He was also the percussionist and drummer for the Bordeaux-Aquitaine Workshop and gave concerts at the ORTF (French national television) in Bordeaux.
In 1970, he won the Award for Best Drummer and Percussionist at the Zurich Jazz Festival.
He then started his own trio which travelled throughout Europe, performing in such places as the Palermo Festival in Sicily and the Contemporary Music Festival in Aix-en-Provence.
At the same time, he collaborated with choreographers, actors and stage directors.
He took part in several creative happenings with contemporary painters like Morvan, Andréou, Guansé, Guerrier, Labégorre or Lapoujade.
He also created the music for several ballets in Morocco, France and Portugal – in 1971, as part of cultural exchanges between the cities of Bordeaux and Oporto.
Starting in the 1970s, his artistic development, his creative energy and quest for inner sound guided him toward the acoustics of various materials and led him to devote himself to the making of his own instruments.
Selecting noble materials – metal, wood essence, animal hides – and creating accomplished aesthetic forms are part and parcel of this quest.
His human and spiritual journey has led him to the transmission of sound on contact with matter, and to the richness of sound’s natural harmonics, infrabass and melodies.
From there, he performed in solo with the instruments of his making at the Théâtre de l’Est Parisien in Paris, le Parvis in Tarbes, the Palais Jacques Coeur in Bourges. He was invited several times to the contemporary Sigma Festival and the Office Artistique de la Région Aquitaine (OARA, Artistic Office for the Aquitaine Region) in Bordeaux.
An exhibit was dedicated to his work and instruments at the Entrepôts Lainé in Bordeaux.
In 1999, he created the music for To Dialogue/To Take Aback, a play by Chinese author, painter and director Xingjian Gao, the 2000 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature.
More recently, he performed in OPorto (Portugal), the European capital of culture in 2001, as part of the exchange program between the twin European cities of Bordeaux and Oporto.
In 2003, he went on tour in Germany, performing in the Summer Festival of the Southern Hesse Region in Frankfurt and in Darmstadt (Kultursommer SüdHessen).
He created the music on stage to a pluri-artistic performance combining dance, painting, sculpture, dress designing, hairdressing and make-up art at the Centre Culturel des Carmes in Langon (France) in 2004, played to a sold out audience at the Théâtre des Quatre Saisons in Gradignan (Southwest France) and in Carbon Blanc (near Bordeaux, Gironde) for the “Journée européenne du Patrimoine en France” in 2006, and performed at the Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine (TnBA) in Bordeaux in 2007, with a new instrument he created for the concert.
Jacky Craissac, who is heir to an oral musical tradition, is also well known as a pedagogue. Concurrently, he directs a school of an oral transmission in which he has developed over the last forty years un travail artistique de l’humain, an artistic approach of the human.
Sound, rhythm, vocal expression, verbal expression and sound improvisation, breathings, acoustic sonorous materials, are the main media with which he works on discovery and artistic expression.
The multidisciplinary nature of his approach addresses the artistic, educational, social, medical and paramedical, economic, school, university and professional domains.
He has participated in congresses, given conferences, has directed master classes on the themes of creativity, improvisation, discovery, artistic expression and the ancestral transmission of sound and rhythm, at the Conservatoire national de Région de Bordeaux with Etienne Rolin’s improvisation class and with the First Steps class and their parents, and the students at the Music Department of Université de Bordeaux 3.
For 2008, Jacky Craissac has been lectured at the Music Department of Université de Bordeaux 3 to music students preparing for the Agrégation and Capes, the highest French national competitive examinations for future teachers.
Jacky Craissac died on February 15th, 2010, 2 months before the programming of its concert in the CAPC, Bordeaux Museum of Contemporary Art where he had to be the artist invited for the Night the Creation on April 10th 2010. This one was organized by the regional academy of Bordeaux and the city hall of Bordeaux.
The CAPC, Bordeaux Museum of Contemporary Art hosts the instruments of Jacky Craissac for this Night of
Creation 2010 and played extracts of his work.