Manu Katché bigraphy, stories - Judges

Manu Katché : biography

27 October 1958 -

Manu Katché (born 27 October 1958, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés) is a French musician of Ivorian origin. He is a drummer and songwriter.


Session musician

He became known by some in the music world in the mid-1980s mostly thanks to the huge success of Peter Gabriel's 1986 album So and his subsequent work with Sting on the albums …Nothing Like the Sun and The Soul Cages. Since then he has been prominently featured in the pop, rock and world music scenes playing with numerous bands and artists, including Afro Celt Sound System, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Tears For Fears, Eurythmics, Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Jan Garbarek, Manu Chao, Loreena McKennitt, Youssou N'Dour, Robbie Robertson, Joan Armatrading, Joe Satriani, Tori Amos, Richard Wright, Kyle Eastwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto and the aforementioned Peter Gabriel and Sting, with whom he has also toured extensively. Manu has also worked with Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni, a popular Croatian singer, on his albums "Mirakul" (2001) and "Unca Fibre" (2006), he has also toured with Gibonni supporting the two albums. He also played drums on all tracks except one on Tracy Chapman's 1992 release "Matters of the Heart".

Band Preface

From 1985 to 1988 he was in the band Preface, with guitar player Kamil Rustam.

Solo career

In 1992, Katché released his first solo album, It's About Time, largely in the rock genre. His subsequent solo releases have all been jazz. He released his second solo album on September 12, 2005 entitled Neighbourhood, which features Jan Garbarek on saxophone, Tomasz Stanko on trumpet, Marcin Wasilewski on piano and Slawomir Kurkiewicz on double bass. His second ECM release, Playground was released in September 2007 (see below). In March 2010, Katché released Third Round, again on ECM.

From 2003 to 2007, along with producer Dove Attia, composer André Manoukian and singer Marianne James, he was one of the four judges in the TV-show Nouvelle Star, the French version of Idol series. He was the most feared of them for his wit and his severe judgement about the groove and the rhythm of the singing contestants.

Since January 2008, Katché hosts the monthly program on Arte.

In August 2011 the album "Rock the Tabla" was released, featuring Manu Katché, Billy Cobham, A.R. Rahman, Hossam Ramzy & Omar Faruk Tekbilek.


As leader

  • It's About Time (1992)
  • Neighbourhood (2005) ECM
  • Playground (September 2007) ECM
  • Third Round (March 2010) ECM
  • Manu Katché (October 2012) ECM

As sideman

With Jeff Beck

  • Who Else! (1999)

With Tracy Chapman

  • Matters of the Heart (1992)

With Dire Straits

  • On Every Street (1991)

With Peter Gabriel

  • So (1986)
  • Biko (1987)
  • Passion (1989), Soundtrack
  • Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats (1990), Compilation
  • PoV (1990), Concert Video Album
  • Us (1992)
  • Secret World Live (1994)
  • OVO (2000), Soundtrack
  • Up (2002)
  • Long Walk Home: Music from the Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
  • Hit (2003), Compilation
  • Play the Videos (2004)
  • Still Growing Up: Live and Unwrapped (2005)

With Jan Garbarek

  • Ragas and Sagas (ECM, 1990)
  • I Took Up The Runes (ECM, 1990)
  • Twelve Moons (ECM, 1992)
  • Visible World (ECM, 1995)
  • In Praise of Dreams (ECM, 2003)
  • Dresden: In Concert (ECM, 2009)

With Herbie Hancock

  • The Imagine Project

With Nigel Kennedy

  • Kafka (1996)

With Tony Levin

  • World Diary (1996)

With Loreena McKennitt

  • The Book of Secrets (1997)
  • An Ancient Muse (2006)

With Joni Mitchell

  • Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm (1988)
  • Misses (1996)
  • The Beginning of Survival (2004)
  • Dreamland (2004)
  • Songs of a Prairie Girl (2005)

With Joe Satriani

  • Joe Satriani (1995)
  • The Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology (2003)

With Sting

  • ...Nothing Like the Sun (1987)
  • The Soul Cages (1991)
  • Brand New Day (1999)
  • All This Time (2001)
  • At the Movies (2002)
  • Sacred Love (2003)
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine