Renaud Garcia-Fons (born near Paris December 24, 1962 ) is a French upright-bass player and composer, son of the painter Pierre Garcia-Fons of Catalonian origin, notable for his customised 5-stringed bass.
Garcia-Fons started his musical studies at an early age. At five years old he picked up playing the piano, switched to classical guitar at eight, then turned to rock in his teens, and finally settling for the upright bass when he was 16. He got formal musical training at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied with François Rabbath who taught him his special technique of playing arco.
Garcia-Fons is known for his melodic sense and his viola-like col arco sound and sometimes even referred to as "the Paganini of double bass. He was destined for creating music spanning genres and borders, born in France to a family with roots in the Catalonia region of Spain, and fluent in French, Spanish and English. Classical, jazz and flamenco represent equal parts of his musical inheritage, and his technique reflects the delicate arco stylings of concert halls, the deep groove of jazz and the raw vitality of flamenco. Garcia-Fons was deeply influenced by the bassist François Rabbath, and with the flamenco in his backbones, the intersection of music from the Middle East appeared to carry multiple of fruits.
He started playing jazz with the band of trumpeter Roger Guérin, and there after had many collaborators, including symphony orchestras, jazz groups and an amazing trio that practically defines the concept of world music. In 1987-93, he was part of the French all-double bass ensemble 'L'Orchestre de Contrebasses'. He remained with them for six years, also appearing with the 'Orchestre National de Jazz' directed by Claude Barthélémy during some of this time. Enja Records released his debut solo album Légendes (1992). Alboreá (1995) was his next album release, featuring his quartet including Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion), Jacques Mahieux (drums), and Yves Torchinsky (bass).
His third album Oriental Bass (1998) with his own compositions, was well received in the press. Next he combined his talents with accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier on the album Fuera (1999). The music of Garcia-Fons is a rich gypsy mix of global jazz flavored with Indian, Greek, African, flamenco, Latin American, tango, and new musette. On many occasions he is accompanied by a variety of instruments, including guitar, lute, derbouka, flutes, trombone, and accordion, and collaborated with jazz musicians like Jean-Louis Matinier, Michael Riessler, Nguyên Lê, and Michel Godard. He contributed to recordings of Gerardo Núñez and to Middle Eastern players such as Kudsi Erguner, Dhafer Youssef, and Cheb Mami.