Michel Portal (born 27 November 1935) is a French composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist. He plays both jazz and classical music and is considered to be "one of the architects of modern European jazz".[1]

Michel Portal
Portal Michel Bruegge Concertgebouw 2006.jpg
Background information
Born (1935-11-27) 27 November 1935 (age 84)
Bayonne, France
Avant-garde music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsSaxophone, clarinet
Years active1950s–present

Early lifeEdit

Portal was born in Bayonne on 27 November 1935.[2] His family was musical and there were several instruments in his house when he was growing up.[1] His interest in jazz began after hearing it on the radio after World War II.[1] He studied clarinet at the Conservatoire de Paris[2] and conducting with Pierre Dervaux.[3]

Later life and careerEdit

Portal "gained experience in light music with the bandleaders Henri Rossotti and (in Spain in 1958) Perez Prado, as well as with the drummer Benny Bennett (1960), Raymond Fonsèque (1963), Aimé Barelli, and, for many years, the singer Claude Nougaro".[2]

Portal co-founded the free improvisation group New Phonic Art.[1] During 1969, Portal played on a recording of Stockhausen's Aus den sieben Tagen.[1]

Portal began scoring music for films in the 1980s.[1] He has won the César Award for Best Music Written for a Film three times.[4][5][6]


As leader/co-leaderEdit

  • Our Meanings and Our Feelings (Pathe, 1969)
  • Alors!!! (Futura, 1970)
  • No, No But it May Be... (Le Chant du Monde, 1971)
  • Minneapolis We Insist! (Universal, 2000)

As sidemanEdit

With Mauricio Kagel

  • Exotica (Deutsche Grammophone, 1971)

With Sunny Murray

  • Sunny Murray (Shandar, 1968)

With Karlheinz Stockhausen

  • From the Seven Days (Deutsche Grammophone, 1969)

With Jacky Terrasson

Main source:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Allen, Clifford (1 July 2005). "Michel Portal: Meanings, Feelings and Rivers". AllAboutJazz.
  2. ^ a b c Laplace, Michel (2003), Portal, Michel, Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J359200
  3. ^ Free Improvisation: New Phonic Art 1973, Deutsche Grammophon, 1974, p. 4
  4. ^ "Prix et nominations: César 1983". allocine.fr. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Prix et nominations: César 1985". allocine.fr. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Prix et nominations: César 1988". allocine.fr. Retrieved 3 December 2018.

External linksEdit