Sylvain Rifflet


French musician living in Paris, my main instruments are tenor saxophone and clarinet.
I also play flutes and toy instruments such as music box, toy piano, metalophone and any others when needed.
Graduted from Paris conservatory I’ve played in many french and european big-bands :
Le Gros Cube (Alban Darche), Le Sacre du Tympan (Fred Pallem), Pandemonium (F.Jeanneau) etc …

As a sideman I performed with musicians such as Riccardo Del Fra, Michel Portal,
Aldo Romano, Kenny Wheeler, Didier Levallet, Joey Baron, Hermeto Pascoual and many others…

Between 2002 and 2011 I lead french band called Rockingchair, the group I founded with trumpettist Airelle Besson.
In 2007, we received a “Django d’or” and several other awards for our first album.
The second album of the band called “1:1” was released in 2010 on german label Enja.

In 2008, I composed played and recorded the original soundtrack for the french movie called “Dernier Maquis” and recveived the “best original soundtrack price” from the international film festival in Dubaï.
I also wrote music for Arthur Rifflet’s documentaries “Sin maïs no hay païs” and “La grippe du laisser-faire”.
My actual groups are Alphabet (a quartet with mixed influences) and Beaux-arts (a program for trio and string quartet).



Label: Verve
Distribution in France: Universal Music
Release date: September 15, 2017

Ever since he was a teenager and his discovery of Stan Getz’ legendary album Focus, Sylvain Rifflet had dreams of making a record that would revisit the same format, and give new impetus to the saxophonist’s very successful blend of classics and jazz. It was an ambitious project, but also an opportunity which Verve has now provided. Unlike the case with many jazz albums where you hear strings, in both Focus and Re-focus the orchestra is much more than a flashy red carpet serving as an opulent foil for the choruses of a jazz musician. “Re-focus” shows Sylvain Rifflet‘s talents both as composer, musician, soloist and improviser.

Sylvain Rifflet - Re-focus


Label: Jazz Village
Distribution in France: harmonia mundi
Release date: September 08, 2015

French saxophonist and composer Sylvain Rifflet has his finger firmly set on the pulse of modern times. Working with his group Alphabet, he has masterminded an innovative and spell-binding brand of music in which the modernity of his jazz sound combines with the world of New York minimalism. Poets and writers of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century often described the then-nascent “industrial world” and its machines as “enemies of art.” However some did not see progress as dehumanizing. Science fiction imagined a futuristic world, which inspired artists and writers such as Jules Verne and HG Wells. Rifflet’s album Mechanics, with a cover illustration by Belgian comic book artist François Schuiten, journeys through forward looking and fantastical worlds.

Sylvain Rifflet - Mechanics


Label: Jazz Village
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: September 09, 2014

The musicians Sylvain Rifflet (France, saxophone and multi-instrumentalist) and Jon Irabagon (USA, saxophones) have created a project dedicated to the work of the American Moondog, the Viking of the 6th Avenue, through music and a DVD retracing the work of this great composer, still not sufficiently recognized by his potential fans, but certainly by a number of great musicians. Moondog influenced such greats as Philip Glass, Terry Riley or Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa or Willliam Burroughs. When Rifflet, a prominent activist on the new French and European jazz scene, whose path has taken him beyond the confines of jazz and into contact with avant-garde rock and contemporary music, discovered this extraordinary composer, he threw himself eagerly into his incredibly rich universe.

Sylvain Rifflet - Moondog


Label: Sylvain Rifflet
Release date: April 26, 2012

On this second album, Rifflet mixes influences, from Tom Waits’ use of junk percussive instruments and Captain Beefheart’s anarchistic sound collages to the sound designs of film composer Cliff Martinez (known for his soundtracks for the films of director Steven Soderbergh), and a shows a deep knowledge of the work of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
The composed parts, all by Rifflet, melt organically into the improvisations and tough the compositions conceptual titles sound cerebral the music is playful, full of imagination and emotional.

Sylvain Rifflet - Alphabet


Label: Sans Bruit
Release date: February 14, 2012

After several years playing with Rockingchair («1:1»/ENJA-2010) saxophonist, clarinettist and composer Sylvain Rifflet now presents his first solo project. An unusual, variable arrangement for trio with guitar and string quartet. «Beaux-arts» is a free exploration of the relationships between music and the other arts at the crossroads between jazz, rock and contemporary music.

Sylvain Rifflet - Beaux-Arts