Adrian Chaillou

Sax player (tenor and soprano)


Adrian was born in 1980 in Nanterre (France) near Paris.

When he was five years old, he began studying classical saxophone at the Conservatory of Music.

“I started with the alto sax but, at that time, being so small, it felt as big as a tenor.”

Music had a dominant place in the house of the young sax player. “There was always an LP on the turntable…We used to listen to every type of music but always music of quality –  such as Coltrane, Zappa, Debussy, Freddy King or French traditional music…”

When he turned eleven, Adrian met world famous Jazz sax player, Hal Singer who soon became his mentor.  Through his relationship with Hal, he learned the Story of Jazz and began to write it through the experience of improvisation.   “I remember going to Hal’s house, where would always Jazz community of the 50s and 60s, about of the be biscuits and a glass of milk waiting for me, and while I would eat the snacks he would tell me on stories – jazz stories! Stories about being par life Other days, he was rehearsing with other musicians and I stayed there listening and watching.”

At this time, he started to play in different bands, while he continued with his classical study at the Conservatory. “I was playing in different styles such as jazz, blues and rock with my father, Rai, and also hip hop. I liked it, I had to open my ears and find a way to improvise and make it click with each genre.”

When his parents saw that their son was getting passionate with his music, they took him to the Parisian jazz clubs most weekends. “I remember that it was something magic. Lots of the musicians there knew me and allowed me to come on stage and play one or two songs with them.”

When he turned sixteen, he left behind the study of classical sax to focus fully on jazz. He started to study with Eric Barret and two years later he began to learn with the Belmondo brothers at the IACP School of Music.

After he finished school, he left with his friend, vibraphone and piano player, Jacques di Costanzo for a trip to NYC. The trip was supposed to last a few months, but turned out to be a five year road trip that saw them tour all round Europe, Cuba, Mexico and NYC.  This is the Onda Road Adventure.

“We left five years ago for NYC, but we got lost on the way. We feed our music with the different types we encounter on our way. This adventure has taught us enormously on a human and also a musical level.”

Living in mexico for the last four years, he has played with different artists from the jazz scene such as Arturo Sandoval, Ed calle, Cheick tidiane Seck, Aaron Cruz, Gabriel Puentes, Luri Molina and Diego maroto….

“Working with great musicians and great professionals is always a a source of inspiration and a way to grow professionally and artistically.”

Adrian has also worked on more commercial projects such as Alejandra Guzman and Natalia Lafourcade.

“The world of popular music and it’s different approach in terms of music and of performance to that of jazz has taught me to be less individualistic and more at the beck and call of an artist and the needs of the project. It has also taught me the importance of the visual aspect. Even though this is not my favorite aspect of the profession, I always considered it to be an interesting experience, whether it be the organization of the show – meaning the more organized nature of the structure of the performance, or visual development of the show.”

He and co-creator Jacques di Constanzo recorded the record Encuentros with Onda Road and special guest artists. This record is made up of original compositions and traditional songs that they pick up on the way and rearranged.

Dividing his time between these projects, composition and his participation in a number of other projects as a sideman, Adrian is thinking about relocating to NYC.

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