Jean Pierre Magnet

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Jean Pierre Magnet
Jean Pierre Magnet.jpg
Background information
Birth name Jean Pierre Magnet Vargas Prada
Born (1949-11-09) November 9, 1949 (age 67)
Lima, Peru
Genres Rock, jazz, jazz fusion, Peruvian folk
Occupation(s) Saxophonist, music producer, director
Instruments Saxophone
Associated acts Traffic Sound, PeruJazz, Wayruro, Gran Banda, Serenata de los Andes

Jean Pierre Magnet Vargas Prada (born in Lima, Peru on September 11, 1949) is a saxophonist, composer, music producer and director.

Early life and career beginnings[edit]

He is the oldest of three, son of French Basque father and Peruvian mother.Jean Pierre started his musical career since early age, while living and working with his father at Country Club Hotel of Lima, Peru. At 10 years old, Jean Pierre revealed his dream to become a saxophonist to his father who immediately gave him his first saxophone.[1]

During his adolescence, Jean Pierre joined Traffic Sound, a Peruvian rock bands in the late 1960s. At the beginning, the band recorded covers of Jimi Hendrix, The Rascals, Animals and Iron Butterfly, main influencers of the band and whose singles were included in their first LP in 1970. Traffic Sound recorded four productions: A Bailar Go Go, Virgin, Traffic Sound and Lux; being Meshkalina the greatest hit between the 1970s and 1980s.


In 1972, Traffic Sound splits up and soon after, Jean Pierre decides to get musical education.

At age 20, Jean Pierre began his studies of musical theory and flute at the National Conservatory of Buenos Aires in Argentina, followed by jazz at the University of Southern Mississippi (U.S.A.). Afterwards, he headed to San Francisco where undertook his first gigs as street musician striving to accomplish his greatest dream, which was to study at Berklee School of Music of Boston.[2]

Fusioning jazz with Peruvian rhythms[edit]

Back in Peru Jean Pierre organized five major Jazz Festivals, featuring Arturo Sandoval, Ray Barreto, Irakere, Paquito de Rivera and Alex Acuña for the first time in Lima, Peru. As a consequence, Jean Pierre is invited to Satchmo's partnership, one of the most important jazz clubs of Peru. There he could nurture even more his musical knowledge and experience, which led him to a new adventure in his career: Wayruro, the most influential band of Andean music of the time. Through this project, Jean Pierre endeavored to introduce a new approach towards Andean music, thus further developing his musical style under an open framework that allowed him to interact with other world genres and trends.

In 1984 he established PeruJazz, quartet formed by Manongo Mujica, Enrique Luna and Julio “Chocolate” Algendones.[3]

PeruJazz was the first band fusioning African-Peruvian and Andean rhythms with jazz elements, genre that freely recreates the different harmonic structures of the music. The outstanding interpretation level attained by PeruJazz made the band perform at many festivals including Umbria Festival of Italy in 1987, playing after Sting for a twenty thousand audience.[4]

PeruJazz performed for two consecutive years at the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada (1989 and 1990).[5] In 1990, PeruJazz played at the New Music America Festival (Miami) and the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, besides London, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Hamburg.[6]

In 1997 Jean Pierre Magnet founded Gran Banda (Great Band), a band performing a 1940s Big Band style, which he directed on the basis of mambo and swing genres.[7] Along their usual mythical chords repertoire of Glenn Miller and Damaso Perez Prado, this band added in a selection of classic themes and contemporary jazz.[citation needed]

Gran Banda provided Jean Pierre of a new environment of fresh genres and the opportunity to undertake an African-Peruvian and Criollo fusion project, featuring the renowned Armando Manzanero, the Peruvian rock band Fragil and Eva Ayllon.

Latest project - Serenata de los Andes[edit]

In 2006, Jean Pierre recorded a new album "Serenata Inkaterra" in coproduction with Inkaterra Hotels. This record was brought live two years later with 25 musicians, starring Alex Acuña and Ramón Stagnaro. Since then, the band named "Serenata de los Andes" has reunited different musical styles from Peruvian Andes, recreating a sort of Andean symphony including 6 violins, 7 saxophones, 5 panflutes, 1 harp, 1 guitar and percussion. The band started touring internationally in 2011 at Teatro de Bellas Artes de Bogota, Colombia[8] and Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York.[9]


Traffic Sound[edit]

  • A Bailar Go-Go (Mag Records, 1968)
  • Virgin (Mag Records, 1969)
  • Traffic Sound (Mag Records, 1979)
  • Lux (Sono Radio, 1971)


  • Wayruro (1996)


  • PeruJazz en Vivo (Cernicalo Producciones, 2001)
  • Mundo Nuevo (Cernicalo Producciones, 2007)

La Gran Banda[edit]

  • Jean Pierre Magnet y La Gran Banda en Vivo (2007)
  • Eva Ayllon, Jean Pierre Magnet y La Gran Banda – Le Cantan al Peru en Vivo (2007)
  • Eva Ayllon, Jean Pierre Magnet y La Gran Banda – Del Peru para el Mundo (2007)

Serenata de los Andes[edit]

  • Serenata Inkaterra (2006)
  • Serenata de los Andes en Vivo (2009)

Jean Pierre Magnet[edit]

  • Arroz con Mango (2007)
  • Criollo (2003)
  • Mi Peru