Born in Bordeaux, France, Philippe Petit established himself in Paris in 1977 and worked for the Barclay Studios (now Universal) as a pianist and composer. In 1980, he met the saxophonist Francis Bourrec with whom he played until 1987 in clubs and festivals (Jazz aux Ulis, Printemps de Bourges and Salon de la Musique amongst others.)
A sought-after accompanist, Philippe performed with various singers both in France and abroad, and was a special guest at the Memphis in May Festival in Memphis, Tennessee (USA). He has also accompanied respected American soloists such as Arnett Cobb, Bud Shank, Benny Bailey and French artists such as Sylvain Beuf and Jean- Claude Fohrenbach.
In the 90’s, Philippe Petit developed an interest in the Hammond Organ, and was initially influenced by musicians such as Jimmy Smith and Mel Rhyne (organist of guitarist Wes Montgomery). The discovery of an instrument with so many stylistic possibilities allowed Philippe to explore a huge range of styles, from traditional swing and bebop, to blues, rock and jazz fusion. Sharing the stage with varied artists such as Scott Hamilton, Eric Alexander, Houston Person, Sophia Nelson, Hervé Meschinet, André Villeger, Christian Escoude, Marc Fosset, Marcel Azzola, Rhoda Scott and Dany Doriz, Philippe has developed his own personal style and is now considered one of the top specialists of the Hammond Organ in France.
Having a penchant for combining adventure and music, Philippe has toured extensively throughout Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. His passion for sharing music has led him to far off places such as the Himalayas and the Amazonian forest. In 2012, he was featured in the documentary “Venez Jouer Là” which followed the Venezuelan tour of the “Equatorial Jazz Groove” group, The Jazz Runners.
Over the years, Philippe has collaborated on numerous projects and recordings, both as sideman, composer and arranger. He currently tours with renowned vibraphonist Dany Doriz, (also owner of the famous Parisian jazz club Le Caveau de La Huchette, featured in the 2016 film La La Land)
Other organ projects include the “Men in Bop” Quartet with Olivier Defays (sax tenor), Philippe Chagne (tenor sax) and Yves Nahon (drums), the LSP Trio with Sylvain Sourdeix (soprano sax) and Jean-Luc Lopez (drums).
Recent recordings find Philippe back on the piano with long-time comrades Eric Dervieu (drums) and Pierre Maingourd (double bass), and include a collaboration with Australian singer & tap dancer Wendy Lee Taylor: “Remembering Fred Astaire” as well as “A beautiful Friendship” (Release June 2018), an album resulting in the trio’s spontaneous decision to go into the recording studio after more than 25 years of live performance together.
Philippe Petit is one of France’s most respected masters of the Hammond organ & pianist. First influenced by organists Jimmy Smith and Mel Rhyne, who played with Wes Montgomery, he progressively developed his own funky and jazzy style and a unique sound: rich, percussive, fast, accurate and always full of energy and swing.