Charles BalayerCharles Balayer (* 1957) studied organ, organ improvisation - he is a former student of M. Xavier Darasse - harmony, counterpoint, fugue, musical analysis, accompaniment, chamber music and jazz in the Toulouse Conservatoire National de Région. He passed the "premier prix" (first prize) in organ, organ improvisation and harmony, the "deuxième prix" (second prize) in musicanalysis, and was awarded a "prix d'honneur" (honour award) for his complete curriculum.
His activity as a jazzman has leaded him to play in many types of concerts and festivals (such as the International Festival Toulouse les Orgues, Jazz en Limousin, Souillac en Jazz, the La Rochelle festival, but also in those of Cognac, Clermont-Ferrand, Alençon, Aix en Provence, Vaison–La–Romaine, Crest as well as in series of concerts in a tour in Guadeloupe) and to accompany many French musicians like Benny Vasseur, Jean Toupance, Stéphane Guérault, Pierre Girot, Laurence Saltiel and Jack Labrunie. Charles Balayer especially performed with Jack Labrunie in opening one of Dizzy Gillespie’s late concerts in France.
In 1986, he created the "Choeur Artie Shaw" (a jazz vocal big–band), in which he also steps in as a pianist, a songwriter and an arranger. As the conductor of this choir, he recorded two albums, "Jasons Jazz !" in 1994 and "Entre Jazz et ..." in 1999. He is also a member of the quartet "Chez Barbaro" (sax, guitar, drums and Hammond organ).
Charles Balayer currently teaches classical organ, organ improvisation and jazz at the Conservatoire de Musique et Danse in Brive, the first national school of music in France including a Hammond organ class.