Accordionist Richard Galliano has succeeded, through his musical emphasis on melody, rhythm and harmony, in imposing his instrument in musical contexts that previously ignored it: jazz festivals (Montréal, etc.) and classical to revitalise a musical tradition, expanding its emotional range to reflect modern sensibilities, and opening it up to improvisation learned through jazz.
Born in 1950, he made his first break in 1973, landing a position as conductor, arranger, and composer for Claude Nougaro's orchestra. He remained there until 1976, and went on to work with numerous American and European jazz luminaries, including Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Toots Thielemans, Ron Carter, Michel Petrucciani, and Jan Garbarek. After meeting Astor Piazzolla, Galliano refocused on his European heritage, and set about reviving and updating musette, widely considered antiquated at the time. He signed with Dreyfus in 1993, and the label gave him enough exposure to cause a stir first in his home country, then among international jazz and world music fans.