Mathieu Borgne, born in April 1973, began piano lessons at age seven and continued playing for ten years. At fourteen he took up drumming, playing in “hard rock” bands. In 1990/1992 he attended jazz music school Le CIM (Centre d’Informations Musicales) in Paris, studying drumming. There his professor, Yves Teslar, taught him traditional rhythms from Africa to the Caribbean.
Borgne worked with a band in 1994 - ‘Biguin in’ – which only played French Caribbean music. The first time he saw a Steelpan is when he began drumming for France’s very own Calypsociation Steelband in 1996. His initial visit to Trinidad was in 1998 where with Tokyo Steel Orchestra, he experienced his first Panorama, playing Beverly Griffith’s arrangement of Lord Kitchener’s ‘Symphony On The Street.’
Borgne not only played with Tokyo again in Panorama 1999, but added a stint with Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra, led that year by Andy Narell arranging ‘Coffee Street.’ Borgne himself arranged for Calypsociation when the orchestra competed in the World Steelband Music Festival 2000 in Trinidad. He returned for 2002, this time going to Panorama with Desperadoes Steel Orchestra. He traveled to New York the following year to arrange for Women In Steel as they took part in the annual Panorama there.
His own music outfit, French jazz Caribbean band ‘Djazil’ was formed in 2005 and put out a self-titled album in 2011; their forthcoming album is currently in the works. The UK Panorama in London has also been on Borgne’s musical map - in 2005, playing drums with Glissando Steel Orchestra on Rudy ‘Two Left’ Smith’s arrangement of ‘Colors Again.’
In tandem with fellow arranger Laurent Lalsingué, Borgne took Calypsociation to Trinidad for the inaugural International Conference and Panorama (ICP) in 2015. He followed his passion for Panorama in the Mecca of Pan through Phase II Pan Groove, playing with the orchestra in competition from 2017-2019. Another “first” for him came in 2018 with a Trinidad/Tobago steelband: Pan-Demonium Steel Orchestra went to Panorama in the medium category with Borgne as their co-arranger. Small band Xpress 21 Steel Orchestra also put his arranging skills to work for Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2019.
As a performing artist, Mathieu Borgne has appeared on the following CDs:
- 2004 - ‘The Passage’ - Andy Narell & Calypsociation
- 2007 - ‘Made It’ - Calypsociation Steelband
- 2010 - ‘Djazil’ - Djazil
- 2011 – ‘Pan People’ - Calypsociation Steelband
- 2015 - ‘Calypsociation Steelband Plays Calypso Rose’ – Calypsociation Steelband
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