Baritone, alto and soprano saxophone
2013 : Winner of the Adami french Award
2012 : Selected for the european project « Take Five Europe »
2011: Nominated “Instrumental Discovery French Music Awards.
2009: Winner of the Rezzo contest during Jazz à Vienne.
2007: Group prize at the National Jazz competition in La Défense, France.
From the age of seven Céline studied music at the “conservatoire” (in Belfort, Besançon and Paris) then specialised in baritone saxophone in Paris big bands from 1996 to 1998. After gaining her music diplomas she moved to Reunion Island, where she taught at the regional music conservatoire for 7 years. During this time she performed in many festivals in the Indian Ocean with her own band, and as guest of the pianist Omar Sosa.
Back in France in 2005, she released her first album, “Vue d’en haut“, recorded on the island. Her compositions, interpreted with baritone, alto and soprano saxophones, are praised in the press (Jazz Magazine, Jazzman, Culturejazz, Sitarmag, Citizen Jazz, les Dernières Nouvelles du Jazz…).
With her 2010 album „Way of Life“ Bonacina had an impressive debut on ACT featuring Lê as a guest. ”Fono Forum” magazine commented on her playing: ”It is just sensational what sounds and musical styling Céline Bonacina manages to get out the Bariton-Saxophone.”
Her new album “Open Heart” is going to be released in February 2013.
She performs most often in trio with the malagasy drummer Hary Ratsimbazafy and the young french bassist Romain Labaye, but also in quartet, quin,tet or sextet in many festivals in France (Jazz sous les Pommiers, Jazz à Juan, Jazz à Vienne, Radio France Festival, Jazz à Tours, Orléans Jazz) and abroad (Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Syria, Norway, Sueden, Turkey…).
Recently she has played in concert with Andy Sheppard, Lars Danielsson, Michaël Wollny, Leszek Modzer, Nils Landgren, Wolfgang Haffner, Nguyên Lê, Michel Benita, Gwilym Simcock…
Nguyên Lê on Céline Bonacina: ”I couldn’t keep myself from admiring the vitality and beauty of Céline’s music and the rich expressiveness of her playing. This young woman has the strong urge to break through the confines of the genre just to be herself. This character trait probably made her to choose such a powerful instrument to play. During the time we spend together working on this album, I constantly got to know new facets of her artistic personality. What a contrast that lies between her delicate appearance, her gentle as impish nature and the passion in each of her tones”.