Bourelly is most notable for his distinctively thick guitar sound and a penchant for mixing and bending styles ranging from funk, rock, jazz to atmospheric and psychedelic. He expresses himself frequently through different formations in order for him to explore his vast musical visions.
Bourelly formed the group 3kings, a power trio, focusing on guitar heavy jam band performances. Performed at various festivals and venues throughout Europe such as the MIMI festival (Marseille, France 2008).
Recently, Bourelly also formed the group Citizen X featuring vocalist and poet Sadiq Bey, bassist Reggie Washington and drummer Kenny Martin and a most recently developing a multi directional blues project featuring singer Dean Bowman entitled Blues Bandits.
“The move to Europe gave me some distance from the marketing chatter of the streets of New York. It got me free of all the categories and allowed me to hear my inner voice. I learned to listen more and I feel my music became more of the world.”
Upon his arrival in Europe he founded African Boom Bop, featuring griot/singer Abdourahmane Diop with percussionist Mino Cinelu. He later started the Backroom project in Berlin’s House of World Cultures in 1999. By 2004 he was curator and musician for the Black Atlantic project at House of World Cultures.
While living in New York, Jean-Paul Bourelly established his first group the BluWave Bandits that featured Alfredo Alias (drums) Melvin Gibbs (bass) and Kundalini Mark Batson on keyboards. During that period he appeared with musicians ranging from Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes and Pharoah Sanders to Vernon Reid, Mark Ribot, Steve Coleman and Muhal Richard Abrams in the period from 1979 to 1994.
Others concert appearances include performances with percussion masters Doudou N'Diaye Rose, Palghat Raghu, saxophone great Archie Shepp, producer Kip Hanrahan and many others.
Originally Bourelly grew up in Chicago, where he played in local Haitian bands and jam sessions under the guidance of saxophonists Von Freeman and studied with Bunky Green.
Other groups he founded:
The Sheba Project (Ethiopian blues)
Gypsys Reloaded (Homage to the Band Of Gypsys) featured Cindy Blackman and Calvin Weston on drums and Melvin Gibbs on bass.
Vibe music trio with T.M. Stevens (bass) and John Blackwell (drums)
and another version with Félix Sabal-Lecco on drums.
Jean-Paul Bourelly Discography
- 17 Vocals
- 60 Instruments & Performance
- 23 Writing & Arrangement
- 1 Featuring & Presenting
- 22 Production
- 3 Technical