FRANÇOIS CASTIELLO, when, as a young boy, faced with the difficult choice between becoming a bricklayer like his father, or earning his living as a musician, took up the accordion, which he had been playing at the Bal Musette, accompanying singers, or appearing solo. At the age of 23 he fell passionately in love with the instrument he had already been playing for ten years. He began to see it not only as a tool for earning a living, but as a means of expressing himself. He acquired new musical techniques, and began playing Jazz arrangements until he met Bratsch.
NANO PEYLET is another Free Jazz man. He is the only musician in Bratsch to have completed a formal education at the conservatory and to have played Mozart on the clarinet. He loves the Klezmer and is a great admirer of Dave Tarras and Giora Feidman.
As a kid, PIERRE JACQUET would go to the Paris flea market every weekend, so he could spend the whole day listening to the Tsigane bands. He feels strongly attached to the environment of the working class and the ordinary people and their music. His musical roots are in Free Jazz and the Musette, the music of Paris, which owes much to the Tsigane influence. He has played bass with various Free Jazz ensembles for many years.
BRUNO GIRARD began studying the violin when he was 9. He refused to read music, preferring to learn by heart the pieces that his teacher assigned to him. But he did not feel he had the calling required to achieve fame and honour in the world of classical music. After getting his degree in biology, he settled down as a scientist and, for the next ten years, only played in his spare time. He has played in various American and French Free Jazz combos and this, combined with his extensive studies on the history of Jazz, from its New Orleans roots right up until the present day, has characterized his style of playing.
DAN GHARIBIAN grew up as an Armenian in France. His grandparents were great music lovers and he was influenced by the Armenian, Russian, Greek and Oriental music they heard. The second major influence to affect his musical career was rock, which he played in a band in his youth. He finds the energy in rock music very similar to the energy that the Gypsies put into their music. At 14 he discovered Django Reinhardt, who made a great impression on him. For many years he played with Russian, Armenian and Tsigane musicians.