Nguyen LEScène Moulay Hassan
Born in Paris to Vietnamese parents, Nguyên started playing the drums at 15, then guitar, then electric bass. He devoted himself to music after pursuing a degree in visual arts and a Masters in the philosophy of exoticism. In 1983, he cofounded the group Ultramarine that took first prize in the La Défense Jazz Festival, and later won “Best World Music Album of 1989. A self-taught and open-minded musician, Nguyên Lê plays rock and funk (Jim Cuomo, Madagascar 1984), song (Claude Nougaro, Ray Charles), contemporary jazz (bassist with Marc Ducret and Yves Robert, guitarist with Eric Barret and Eric Le Lann), electro-acoustic (André Almuro, Tona Scherchen) and especially non-European music: Africa and Caribbean with Ultramarine, Algeria with Safy Boutella & Cheb Mami, Turkey with Kudsi Erguner, India with Kakoli, and Vietnam where he learned to play the traditional monochord "Dan Bau". Selected by Antoine Hervé to join the French National Jazz Orchestra as a guitarist (1987- 1989), he was able to play alongside Johnny Griffin, Louis Sclavis, Didier Lockwood, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Randy Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Courtney Pine, Steve Lacy, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gil Evans, Quincy Jones and many others.