Born near Belfort (France) in 1960, Michel Godard soon established himself as an extraordinarily versatile exponent of the tuba, pursuing a career in jazz and classical music.Today he is one of the most virtous tuba and serpent players in Jazz as well as in improvised music.
Michel Godard’s tuba performance is fantastic in every sense: his technical skill is astounding, his tone clear and warm, his ability to produce overtones (“multiphonics”) and his musicality leaves the listener surprised at how light a seemingly cumbersome and heavy-weight tuba can sound.
In 1979 he picked up also the ancestor of the tuba, the serpent, an instrument with a name derivated after its form – looking like a coiled snake. The serpent’s ivory mouthpiece gives it a characteristic warm and intense tone. With this “second” instrument, Michel Godard has taken yet another step in broadening the field of expression in ancient music as well as in Jazz. Since 2002, Michel Godard is the serpent teacher at the “Conservatoire national de musique” in Paris.
On the classical side, Michel Godard played since 1988 with the Radio-France Philharmonic Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, the Ensemble Musique Vivante, , the ancient music Ensemble La Venice and “XVIII-21Musique de Lumieres”. He was also a member of the “Arban Chamber Brass” quintet (notably touring Japan, the U.S., Africa) and interprets works from the solo repertory, too. Little wonder that, with recourse to such a fund of experience, he gives international master classes, and has been discovered by European jazz as well as by the avant garde. On the jazz side he was a member of the French Orchestre National de Jazz from 1989 to 1991 . Since then all over Western and Souther Europe Michel Godard has been involved in numerous creative projects with Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis, Henry Texier, Enrico Rava, Michael Riessler, Kenny Wheeler, Ray Anderson, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Sylvie Courvoisier, Klaus König, Simon Nabatov, Wolfgang Puschnig, Linda Sharrock, Pierre Favre, Misha Mengelberg, Linda Bsiri, Gianluigi Trovesi, Christof Lauer, Maria Pia De Vito, Pino Minafra, Luciano Biondini,Willem Breuker, Herbert Joos, Dave Bargeron and many more.
As a composer, Michel Godard was comissioned by Radio France (“Penthés(il)ée II”), Donaueschinger Musiktage/Südwestrundfunk (“de mémoire de tuba”, “Tra la folla, mora, mormora” , “Praeludium”), French Ministere de la Culture (“Bradamente aux aguets”, “les enfants d’un paradis”).
He records many cds wit his own projects: “Archangelica”, “ImpertinAnce”, “Cousins Germains” for CAMjazz, “Castel del monte”, “Tubatuba” for Enja, “Deep”, “trio rouge” for Intuition……….
Michel Godard also played and recorded with the pipeband of the Normandy town Quimper, with reggae star Alpha Blondy and with “Canterbury” rock musicians John Greaves and Pip Pyle. Together with harpsichordist Freddy Echelberger, he collaborates with writer Nancy Huston (Tendres ténèbres, pérégrinations Goldberg, Tentatives de renaissance)