The most engaging way I know to express my heart and soul is through music and my own unique instrument, my voice.
From an early age, Marie-Paule Franke was immersed in classical music, mostly because of her father who was a Jewish/German cellist and played freelance in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She soon learned to play the piano and as a young-adult, she began to sing.
In a roundabout way through pop, rock, funk and chanson, jazz became her favorite genre.
In the nineties she took singing lessons with David Linx at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent (Belgium) and later master classes with the jazz vocalist Judy Niemack.
She has sung in several bands and is not only a versatile vocalist but also writes her own compositions and lyrics. Over the years she has developed a very personal style. The meeting between classical music, rock, pop and influences of jazz icons such as Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Blossom Deary and Joni Mitchel, can be felt in her work.
In 2010 she recorded her first album in collaboration with Erik Vermeulen (piano) and Jouni Isoherranen (electric bass).
This collaboration,under the name 'Marie-Paule Franke and her Dreamband', led to the release of the album 'Tales from a Lonely Room' (March 2014).
In November 2018, while visiting the Jazz clubs in New York, she met multiple Grammy award winner John Benitez and this led to a collaboration.
In april this year (2019) they recorded the album ‘Clouds’ which contains nine of her own compositions. The album is produced and arranged by John Benitez and recorded in the Mozart studio in New York.
The musicians she worked with for this album are John Benitez (electric bass and double bass), Fred De Christófaro (tenor and alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet), Norbert Stachel (tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet, bass flute), Jim Ridl (acoustic piano and Hammond B3 organ), Francis Benitez (drums and percussion) and last but not least Kostadin Kamcev (mixing and mastering).
To put it in her words: “To have worked with these amazing people in the Mozart studio felt like a harmonious sequence of natural interactions that brought my music to a higher level and inevitably led to a magical result. I am delighted to share this experience with the world through this album and anxiously looking forward to performing it live, which will be the ultimate thrill”
Vocals: Marie-Paule Franke
Wind instruments: Norbert Stachel &
Fred De Christòfaro
Acoustic piano and Hammond B3 organ: Jim Ridlc
Acoustic and electric bass: John Benitez
Drums and percussion: Francis Steve Benitez
2014, debut album
With Erik Vermeulen (piano) and Jouni Isoherranen (bass)
2018, EP leading to the album 'Clouds'
With Sam Vandekerckhove (piano), Mattias vanhoecke (keys) and Moussa Dembele (Djembé and Kora)
"'Love is not all', with such a melodic open and free approach is beatific and soothing. Thanks so much for your artistry. I look forward to the opportunity to hear you live."
(Christopher Dean Sullivan, New York)
"Het plezier straalt van elke song af. Met haar lastige melodieen en teksten. waarin ze zonder overgang van de ene taal naar de andere overschakelt, heeft deze zangeres een geheel eigen stijl. Maar wel een die doordrenkt is met jazz."
(Hessel Fluitman – Jazzflits nummer 217, 1 april 2014)
"De stem van Marie-Paule klinkt soms ontroerend breekbaar en bij momenten doet haar frasering denken aan een musical- of zelfs cabaretzangeres. De sterkte van dit album is dat het bij iedere beluistering nog iets meer prijsgeeft.”
(Jos Demol – Jazz’Halo, 1 juli 2014)
"Clouds vormt een soort bevestiging van de eerdere ambities onder een nieuw elan. Dat vond Marie-Paule Franke via John Benitez en met uitstekende sidemen."
Bernard Lefèvre, Jazz'halo