At the age of 7, little Léo Ferdinand Cornélius MATHIEU discovers the viola. After 14 years studying classical music at the Conservatory of Reims , his musical interests turn to jazz. He first masters Stéphane Grapelli’s music by revisiting some classics, with his colleague and friend Yann Van Der Cruyssen on the cello. Both of them also cover video game sound tracks during the summer along the Channel coast.

Soon came time to go to college. Léo studied audiovisual media in Brest (Brittany). During that time, aside from discovering a love for local fare such as crepes with salted butter, Léo also discovers his love of Irish music, bluegrass, rock and blues. Soon enough, he buys his first violin.

Back in Reims, he bluntly announces to his “delighted” parents that he plans to be a career musician. A long quest for the Holy Grail soon follows. He joins a string of Gypsy jazz bands (Les ManLouches, PomPeHop), accompanies singers such as Gavroche (Music), or Morris (Pop-swing), with a small digression as an elf in the brass band, Nous, on attend Paulette, with whom he travels all around the Champagne-Ardennes region.

Never afraid to take on new challenges, he takes starts four bands: Les Bottes et La Plume (lyrical French songs), Soul Vaccination (Soul-Funk), le Karpates Show (Balkan Music) et Kanar (varied).

Undeterred by risk, Léo Ferdinand Cornélius MATHIEU experiments a lot, unafraid of mixing music with other art forms: drawing and concerts, cinema with live music, accompanying poetry and children’s stories. In 2012 he starts learning the mandolin, and even sings from time to time. But that’s another story! He concludes his musical training with a ‘jazz aperitif’ in 2015, a format he had not tested yet, until SAMARABALOUF gave him that opportunity.

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