Christian Vander (musician)

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Christian Vander
Christian Vander at the Roadburn Festival 2017
Christian Vander at the Roadburn Festival 2017
Background information
Birth nameChristian Vander
Born (1948-02-21) 21 February 1948 (age 72)
Nogent-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne, France
GenresProgressive rock (zeuhl)
  • Drums
  • vocals
  • piano
Associated acts

Christian Vander (born 21 February 1948 in Nogent-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne) is a French drummer, musician, and founder of the band Magma. Besides his work with Magma, he has also performed solo, with the Christian Vander Trio and Christian Vander Quartet, and in Offering.

Vander is known for his extended compositions, drumming, and shrill falsetto improvisational/scat singing. His music fuses jazz, rock, classical and operatic influences, and draws on the work of musicians as diverse as John Coltrane and Carl Orff. Vander's music is broadly classified as progressive rock, but the style is so unusual that it falls under its own category – an idiosyncratic style of music often referred to by fans as "zeuhl" (which means "celestial" in Kobaïan, a constructed language devised by Vander and used exclusively by Magma and Offering). There have been several other bands who have incorporated Zeuhl stylings into their compositions, many of which are composed of ex-Magma members. Some of the more notable groups of this variety include Japanese duo Ruins, Magma offshoots Weidorje and Zao, and Belgian chamber rock outfit Univers Zero.


Christian Vander is the adopted child of famous French jazz piano player Maurice Vander (who was a long time sideman of the French singer Claude Nougaro).

Most of Vander and Magma's recorded work is still available through Vander's own record label, Seventh Records.

He was married to singer Stella Vander who released many EPs herself in the 1960s and has performed vocal duties for Magma since 1972.

Christian and Stella have a daughter, Julie, who has appeared on several Magma and Offering releases.[1]

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