Benoit's World News #7 - March 2024



I just came back from France. Because tragedy struck, I had to spend most of February and March over there, not that I dislike it, but I would have rather played some good music for good people. In any case, after you read a bit further, you will most likely forgive me for being absent for the first half of this year.



Orbituaries: Luc Viellefon 1951-2024

Luc Viellefon

You have never heard of Luc Viellefon, who for me was the most influencial soparano saxophone player in the world. He was the first person I ever saw playing an instrument, sing and dance, he also had incredible charisma and was a talented entertainer. Because of his influence I became a music and jazz enthusiast, professional musician and entertainer. He was my father.

He died on February 3rd, and believe it or not, although I have been performing professionally since 2005 he never saw a single of my concerts. Hopefully he will be able to attend them all from now on.

Consequently I had to go to France to sort out the family affairs, and I now understand why people call it the "Death Admin". I will have to spend a lot of time in France this year to deal with it all, so I won't be able to perform as much as I would like to I'm afraid. But rest assured, I will take a laptop with me and release some music if you want to listen to it and support me.



The end:

Bereavement brought me to reconsider my own life, choices, achievements and failures. While in france, I took a few decisions and put my newly aquired laptop to use right away...

I had created the Orchestra in 2009, and got extremely busy with it until the Brexit referendum was announced in 2016, then experienced a steady decline in bookings ever since. I did set up my website in autumn 2009, which you will probably remember, and got to play 15 to 20 gigs a month for almost 10 year. It is now gone... forever.

Running a 7 piece band on my own and performing every single show, with that kind of heavy schedule, all the administration, promotion, production of recordings and videos, marketing, accounting, driving, flying, the constant lack of sleep, adrenaline, depressions, bad food everyday... all of this almost killed me, litterally. My health started to decline steadily and I eventually got forced to slim down my activities drastically. I therefore started performing more often with the Hot Club and the Trio which were a bit easier to manage.

To add to the injury, the Conservative austerity policies had already seriously damaged the viability of performing with the Orchestra since the gigs were getting thin on the ground due to budgets being slashed, venues being closed, tuition fees, people having less money to spend on music.... Then in 2020 came Brexit followed very closely by Covid. That was the final nail in the coffin, the end of the Orchestra.

We have only ever played one concert since. My musicians and friends have moved on, so I had to accept to let go of it, and remove the ubiquitous website since the Orchestra is no more. Very sad, but I have some unreleased recordings!



A new start:

Having to remove a 16 years old website ranking high on search engines with thousands of back links and references on the web, is a tragedy. But technology had moved on too much to cry over it.

My previous website was looking fabulous in 2009, but just like fashion (or just like me?), looked dated today. It did not resize automatically on mobile phones and tablets either, which is an massive issue with the scrolling addicts. As a result, I had to create a new one from scratch. In term of design it's a compromise: it must work everywhere on everything, integrate seamlessly all the 3rd party code and social media, do well with search engines, please everybody and look amazing of course. I hope that it does all of these things, but you can reassure me by visiting and emailing me your feedback.

Following the loss of the Orchestra, and its website, I am almost starting all over again. Business people will call this a rebrand, artists will call that "reinventing themselves", I call that an undesired struggle that eats my time, but I hope it will bring my music to a new audience.



2024. A few Concerts.

I did not play many shows recently, and I had to cancel most of my work in the next 6 months due to my family circumstances; but the silver lining is that every gig in 2024 so far sold out well in advance and it looks set to stay that way.

Please book early if you want to come, we had to refuse people.

April 11th - The Brunswick
(Brighton/Hove Sussex) There only about 20 tickets left.

See all the complete concerts listing here.



OUT OF DATES (new album)

Well here it is: a true masterpiece recorded on the 31st March 2019 better known as "Brexit day". It was not the day it was enforced, but it was the days it was made law into parliament. Funny that this should coincide with the last performance of the Orchestra in the UK.

It was recorded in a theatre in St. Leonards-on-Sea East Sussex, with 2 condensers placed in front of the band, in one take, no editing or mixing possible, just as they use to do in the 1940's. You get to hear the band live and untempered with, with the acoustics of the room, the great audience, the atmosphere and all. The playlist contains some of the hits we used to perform over the years that were never recorded in a studio. Sadly we could not record the rest of the repertoire on that day, and some gems willl be lost forever. Obviously there is a lot more to talk about, and it's all in the liner notes of the album. When it comes to the artwork, it was produced by the great painter and illustrator Olivier Raab. Again, a masterpiece!

I t is currently released exclusively to my subscribers so they can enjoy their privileges, and I may cut a limited edition of 100 CDs if people are interested ( just let me know if you want one?). You can get the album by subscribing on and if you can fork out £20 you'll get this one plus my complete catalogue for a year. That is £1.66 a month for 11 albums, how could you resist? Besides, your support will help me a lot, litterally on all levels.



From the author

That’s it folks, It's was a bit long but I hope it was good, or at least "a bit good". For complaints and accolades please email me, I will respond.

A bientot. (French: meaning "See you soon")

Benoit Viellefon