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Who are the Swing Solicitors ?

The Swing Solicitors are an international group of six jazz and swing musicians with Members from Finland, France, the United States, Belgium, and Switzerland.The Group has been performing in the Geneva Switzerland area since 1998 and has recorded three CDs : Straight Flight in 1998, "When You Look at Me" in 2000, and "Live in Geneva", in 2003.

Most of the group's music and performances feature original compositions by Hannu Wager and Jean-Yves Poupin with lyrics by some of Geneva's finest lyricists. The group's outstanding instrumentalists include the celebrated Jean-Yves Poupin on piano, Hannu Wager on Guitar, and Philipp Helfer on Saxophone. In addition to great solos, the Swing Solicitors feature the wonderful singing voice of lead singer Nicole Tayach backed up by Scott Andersen's harmonies. Jackie Febvre's solid and creative drumming and occasional harmonica joins Scott Andersen's acoustic bass in providing a solid rhythm section.

The Swing Solicitors have performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival Off, the Cully Jazz Festival Off, the Fêtes de Genève, and many other venues including the Chat Noir in Carouge, the Restaurant Aux Halles de l'Ile in Geneva, the Caves de Bon Sejour in Versoix.

Nicole entered the world of music through the piano, taking classical music lessons from 1969 to 1977. She sang in a children's choir for several years at that time and as a young adult, performed in musical comedies. She took classical singing lessons for a number of years, mostly going in for pop music however. Then she turned to jazz and took part in a polyphonic jazz workshop for quite some time. Later Nicole formed a female singing polyphonic jazz trio, essentially performing jazz and the blues in both English and French. This was the time when she worked on musical arrangements. She joined the 'Swing Solicitors' in September 2000 as vocalist. Since then, as of September 2003, she has been directing a choir of gospel singers and is putting together for the autumn of 2004 a choir of young people with a repertoire of jazz, blues, gospel and Latin-American music.

Hannu has worked as a composer, arranger, record producer, and performer of Jazz and concert music for over 25 years. He has produced and arranged music for leading Finnish performers including Tomas Ek, Susanna Haavisto, Eeva-Leena Sariola, and Monica Aspelund. Hannu's compositions have been performed by jazz and symphony orchestras including the Jyvaskyla Symphony Orchestra, the MIT Concert Band, and the Pori Big Band.

Hannu has played lead guitar and bass for a number of vocalists and nstrumentalist in Finland. He studied music at the Espoo Conservatory in Finland and guitar and jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music in the United Stat.

As one of the founding members of the Swing Solicitors in 1998, Hannu has written many of the Swing Solicitors original compositions and is their lead guitarist. Since moving to Geneva in 1995, he has played and recorded with the Swing Solicitors as well as with several other groups in the Geneva area.

From 1954 to 1970, Jean-Yves studied classical music in Nantes and Paris (piano, musicology, etc.). He arrived in Geneva in 1970 and until 1978, concentrated on jazz and Latin-American music, accompanying entertainers of the French and international scene during the same period.

Come 1979 he made his first trip to the US, notably New York and San Francisco where he studied with pianist Art Lande. He played at the Festival of Garberville and took part in numerous workshops and it was at this time that he started composing. Since 1980 he has been playing on the Swiss scene at such venues as the 'New Morning'and 'AMR' in Geneva, the 'Bazillus' in Zurich, taking part in the 'AMR Festival 88', as well as playing in the 'Cité' in Lausanne and at the 'Festival Bâtie-Genève 94'. On the international scene, he has performed at the 'Interlude Concert 82' in New York; in Canada at the Festival de Baie Corneau; and in Brussels at the 'Piano's Festivals' in 1993. In France he has played in Uzès, at the 1986 Festival in Avignon, at the 'Estival 92' in Saint-Germain-en-Lay, at the 'Festival Radio-France 93' in Montpellier, at the 'New Morning' in Paris in 1995,

Back in Switzerland, Jean-Yves has played with Raymond Therace, Paolo Bellinati, Raoul Esmerod, Pavel Pesta (tribute to Monk in 1982), Yves Cerf, and Michel Bastet (initially a quartet and then a piano duo - Poussepin 91). In other countries, he has performed with Toots Thielemann, Ted Curson, Eric Truffaz, Andi Mcgkee, Michel Roques, Dominique Pifarely, Serge Lazarevitch, Joël Allouche, and others. Jean-Yves has played salsa with various bands, such as Mindanao, Sonora and Picando Suave. As for cabaret, he has accomapnied Agnès de Crousaz since 1988 and Moreno Macchi since 1980 (Italian cabaret, chansons de stars, Quasimina, Parfum, etc.)

Philippe started taking clarinet lessons at the age of 11 and alto saxophone lessons at 12. During his formal education, at a very young age, he had the opportunity to play several concerts with Jazz greats such as Jimmy Woode (ex Duke Ellington bassist), Gustav Csik, Alvin Queen e.a.. After moving to Geneva at the age of 20, Philippe has had several bands of his own, playing in Switzerland, France, England, Germany and Russia. Although favoring the Jazz syntax and vocabulary, Philippe has always felt an urge to reach out for other styles and grooves.

Geneva has been quite a fertile basis for that. For a long time he played and recorded with brazilian artists, then with soul and funk oriented american artists only to come back to Jazz, documented in a recording with Monty Alexander and Jimmy Woode in a Geneva recording session in 1997. Several years in a row he has appeared at the Montreux Off Festival and has had the opportunity to play there with Keziah Jones and other artists from the main stages. In recent years Philippe has added the flute as well as the tenor saxophone to his means of expression and has experimented with electronic improvised music collaborating with Amsterdam based pianist Alexei Levin.

Scott has been playing electric and acoustic bass for 30 years. He is one of the original Swing Solicitors founding the Group with Hannu Wager in 1998. Prior to founding the Swing Solicitors, Scott was the bassist from 1980-1986 with the popular Washington D.C. based swing band Mountain Laurel whose album Swinging was well-received in 1984. Scott performed with Mountain Laurel in the National Television show Nashville Now and played in the leading clubs and festivals throughout the East Coast of the United States.

From 1988-94, Scott was a frequent bassist for the Bluegrass, Blues, and Swing Acts for Festivals of the U.S. Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. National Folk Festival for such artists as violinist Kenny Baker of the Bill Monroe Band, and Johnny Johnson of Chuck Berry's Band. Since moving to Geneva in 1995, Scott and the Swing Solicitors have recorded three CDs, Straight Flight (1999), When You Look at Me (2000), and Live in Geneva (2003). Scott recently has played the acoustic and electric bass for the Mark Lawrence Band on two CDs in 2002 and 2003 and performs and regularly in Geneva with the Crazy Canadians.

Jacky started playing the drums with rock bands in the 60s, influenced of course by the music of the period, the Shadows, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles among others.

In the years 1968 to 1978 he became acquainted with the music of the various dance bands then playing. He discovered jazz listening to Stan Getz and the big bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington ... He played with Jean Tradet, a well known pianist in the Saône and Loire area and then for 20 years, from 1978 to 1998, he was the drummer of the 'Bellegarde Big Band' (which had its hour of glory in the 90s). In 1998 until 2001 he contributed to the formation of the modern jazz band 'Alter Ego' from Annecy, which played in the opening sessions of concerts given by M. Berthomieux, Rhoda Scott, and Bruce Forman; 'Alter Ego' was the winner of the 'Tremplin Jazz de Faverges' and was a regular act at clubs such as 'La Soupe aux Choux' in Grenoble. Jacky has been playing with the 'Swing Solicitors' since 2001.

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