Drummer. Tanbouyé (Ka Drummer). Composer.
"I want to create joy.
I want people escape to positivity "
"Playing drums brings me an unexplainable well-being...
To the mystic "
"I am for
Arnaud Dolmen is an eclectic and worldwide drummer.
« The extra space of 5/4 gave Dolmen the
opportunity dig heavily into the groove,
to provide endless variety and creativity,
to state his case as a drummer of
real originality and flair »
– London Jazz News
« Asserts himself here as a jazz drummer
of the first rank, with certain taste
and indestructible swing »
– Jazz Magazine
« Arnaud Dolmen shows with
disconcerting ease of
rhythms from elsewhere »
– Le Bananier bleu
« With a sensitivity and
a musical intelligence,
including rhythmic level
making his play unique »
Airy, dynamic, swiftness, fineness could describe Arnaud…and result from his numerous world influences.
On international stages and in studios, he works with: Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Mario Canonge, Baptiste Trotignon, David Linx, Olivier Ker Ourio, Bojan Z, Laurent de Wilde, Alain Jean-Marie, Donald Brown, Annick Tangorra, Lisa Simone, Jonathan Jurion, Jasser Haj Youssef, Yuri Buenaventura, Fayçal Salhi, Naïssam Jalal, Charlotte Wassy, Grand Baton, Hervé Samb, Calypso Rose, Munir Hossn, Franck Nicolas, Grégory Privat, Sonny Troupé, Jerry Léonide, Etienne Charles, etc.
He also perfoms and evolves Gwoka and West Indian music: Tanya Saint-Val, Zagalo, Dédé Saint-Prix, René Geoffroy, Christian Laviso, Kimbòl, Mizikopéyi, Jacob Desvarieux, Admiral T, Soft, Dominique Coco, Jean-Philippe Marthély, Jean-Louis Mérault & the band Zawag, Ralph Thamar, the band Kann’, Sanouyé, etc.
Whether it is a collaboration on stage or in the studio, each of his musical encounter nourishes his creativity and leaves an indelible mark on his pair of drumstick.
Born and raised in Guadeloupe, Arnaud discovered music as a child. Indeed, he studied Gwoka music (traditional music of Guadeloupe), a bridge which linked him to the Ka (drums played in gwoka) then to the classic drums at the Marcel Lollia «Vélo» School (under the artistic direction of Georges Troupé).
Thanks to his commitment and dedication within Kimbol orchestra, Arnaud’s burgeoning talent was revealed. During his adolescence, his hard work led him to his first festivals, performances, and tv shows (les Orchestrades de la Caraïbe, de Brive, etc.).
As a very young musician, he collaborates with different artists. His precocity and avid intense practice of this instrument enable him to effortlessly become familiar to various musical styles such as gwoka, jazz or zouk music. The richness of his musical culture soon helps him shape his own unique music.
Approaching the age of legal majority, the guadeloupean prodigy flied to Toulouse (France) in order to improve his musical background at the Dante Agostini Drums School. Freshly graduated with honors with the prestigious Jury First Prize, he begins his professional path at a national and international level.
During his music and accountant studies, Arnaud takes the leap to the professional world. Discovered by Franck Nicolas at the age of 16 in Pointe a Pitre (Guadeloupe), Arnaud signed to his label and starts his first contracts three years later.
His path crosses renowned artists such as Alain Jean-Marie, Jean-Christophe Maillard, Michel Alibo and Mario Canonge. with whom he collaborated. His first scene at the prestigious Parisian venue Le Zenith was alongside the famous Caribbean band SOFT and it opened the door to many national and Caribbean tours.
One of his closest friends from childhood, Sonny Troupé, whom he considered like a brother, participated in his ascension with his precious guidance that led him to his first international tour for the prestigious Jazz Festivals with Jacques Schwarz-Bart.
The saxophonist believes in Arnaud’s talent and they start collaborating on a regular basis. At the end of 2009, the drummer moved to Paris where he meets many artists, build his network and becomes a key drummer in the Parisian musical scene.
From 2004 to 2013, Arnaud starts three Jazz projects:
The first one, ZETLIYO, was founded at 19 in Toulouse. The trio is composed of three high school friends, Jonathan Jurion on the piano, Gwenaël LADEUX on the electric bass. Their repertoire focuses on covers of Caribbean Jazz classics, such as Michel Petrucciani andPat Metheny. Zetliyo is looking for an open form of Jazz while respecting the codes and tradition of the style. Thanks to this formation, Arnaud is starting to find his own voice. The trio extends and welcomes Sylvain Joseph, and the new formed quartet starts working with singer and percussionist Alexandre, Duventru, Voices Soulshine, Erik Pedurand, and the Guinean singer Sia Tolno, with whom they open for Lura and the renowned singer Cesaria Evora (Grand Rex, 2011).
The second one is FDH TRIO which he co-founded with both Thibaud Dufoy pianist and Elvin Bironien bass player, in Toulouse in 2008. This trio offers an original repertoire mainly composed by the pianist.
Thanks to FDH Trio, Arnaud enhances his Jazz play and composes his first song “Nonotime”. Their originality is crowned with various awards: Public Prize of the Porquerolles Jazz platform, Finalist of the 2010 National Jazz Competition of La Defense, 1st prize of the jury of the Golden Jazz Trophy in 2012 chaired by Omar Sosa. They performed at festivals: Jazz on 31, Jazz in Millau, Souillac in Jazz, Jazz in North, the Afters Hours of the Duc des Lombards, Caribbean of May, etc. In 2012, they release their album “The free of hazard?” with famous guests as Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Mino Cinelu and Sonny Troupé.
Breathing the French capital oxygen, Arnaud found in 2010 the NONO EXPERIMENT. Until 2013, he gathers four friends: Jonathan Jurion, Ralph Lavital, Sylvain Joseph and Damien Nueva. The quintet displays a music composed by each of them, fitting the modern jazz attractive of New York, meanwhile stay anchored to their Caribbean root. Once a month, the Baiser Salé Jazz Club audience relish their live performance during their annual residence. This Parisian adventure reachs Guadeloupe where they work during a one-week residence, closing with two outstanding shows.
Starting in November 2014, Arnaud-surrounded by talented musicians-has been hosting the Jam Sessions at Bab-Ilo Jazz Club. This monthly residence resonated within the walls of the Parisian jazz club and helped seal the harmony desired for Arnaud’s captivating music. Guests at the Bab-Ilo Jazz club included : Enzo Carniel, Laurent Coq, Laurent Coulondre, Mario Canonge, Christophe Panzani, Jérémy Bruyère, Munir Hossn, Grégory Privat, Natasha Rogers, Léonardo Montana, Adrien Sanchèz and Joachim Govin.
The jam attracts a cosmopolitan and authentic public. Many personalities were present and share the stage as Ambrose Akimusire, Harold Lopez Nussa, Lukmil Pérèz, Sonny Troupé, Naïssam Jalal etc. This jam becomes an unique experimental laboratory in the romantic capital and eargerly awaited each month.
In 2015 after leading various projects, today Arnaud is drawing his bold path to a new adventure « Arnaud Dolmen Quartet », a beautiful blend of Jazz music and Caribbean fragrances. More information here.
His first album Tonbé Lévé released in October 2017 received an international and indisputable ovation.