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Jean-Pierre Danel (born 1968) is a French self-taught guitarist, record producer and composer. Instrumental guitarist with the biggest record sales in France, his various productions also sold 21,7 million copies.
Danel started his career as a professional guitarist in July 1982, at the age of 14.
He was then mainly influenced by the English guitar legends Hank Marvin and The Shadows. After many tours and studio recordings with French session musicians, he released various guitar albums, 8 gold discs in Europe. In the US, his album "Stratospheric" was named Best Album of the Year 2000 by the Instrumental Rock Guitar Hall Of Fame, and Danel was also named Composer of the Year for his track "Ballad For a Friend". As a guitarist, the Instrumental Rock Guitar Hall Of Fame described him as "brilliant and expressive".
In 2001, he was featured on the charitable Unicef album released by Sony Music, "Guitar Masters – The Greatest Guitarists in the World", along with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, BB King, Al Di Meola, Popa Chubby, Stanley Jordan, and others.
As a producer, he started his own company, Puzzle Productions, in 1989. He has produced or co-produced for various French and international artists, scoring 243 hit records, including 113 Top 10 and exactly 20 #1 hits in France. Danel has also received 173 gold and platinum discs for his productions, which have sold 21.4 million copies. In 1999, Danel starts the very first budget line record collection with a major company in France (Sony Music), with 138 albums from his company's back catalogue, which contains 16 000 songs. In 2002, he signs the biggest contract ever between an independent producer and a major company in France, Warner Music, for 261 albums. His company then holds 2,3% of the French market.
His work also includes the production, with DJ Da French Guy, of radio remixes for artists such as Madonna, Britney Spears, Daft Punk, and Moby.
In October 2002, with the re-release by Sony of a part of his back catalogue, he became the producer with the highest number of albums and singles in the French national charts during one same week, with 19 records ranked.
His new album as a guitarist "Guitar Connection", released by Sony/BMG in July 2006 is the only instrumental guitar album to reach the #1 spot in the charts in France, and received a double gold disc (for more than 160,000 copies sold) and later a platinum disc. The DVD received a diamond disc and two singles hit the Top 20.
"Guitar Connection 2" was released in March 2007, hitting the charts at #8. The album features some famous guest stars, and includes a duet with British legend Hank Marvin on the standard "Nivram". The single hits the French chart at #14. His duet which French star Laurent Voulzy hits the charts at #7, followed by another hit single at #13. "Guitar Connection 2" received a gold disc and the DVD a double platinum disc.
In June 2007, Danel received the "Grand Prix Français de la Guitare" award as well as a multi-diamond distinction award for 25 years in the music business.
In March 2008, his single "NZ Girl Blues" hits the charts at #5.
"Guitar Connection 3" hits the charts at #18 in July 2008, the dvd gets a platinum disc and two singles enter the charts, including "The Pink Side of Miss Daisy", which goes to #9, and a Top 20 hit with a cover of "Honky Tonk Woman".
In March 2009, "Guitar Connection - Tribute to The Shadows" hits the album charts at #6, and the video version gets a gold disc. The double album version, "Jean-Pierre Danel plays The Shadows" is also a hit, at #38. "The Best of Guitar Connection" hits the charts at #23, followed by "Guitar Connection Anthology", ranked at #19 for Christmas. "The Best Guitar Connection" gets a special marketing campaign, and reaches #2 on the downloading charts.
In November 2010, the charitable "Out of the Blues" guitar album to the benefit of Aids research, is released by Universal. Danel records duets with guitars greats such as Hank Marvin again, Albert Lee (recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studio 2), Scott Henderson, Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, Jake Shimabukuro and various very popular French artists. The first single, also titled "Out of the blues", had hit the Top 20 in March 2010 as an avant-premiere. The album is also supported by various artists, such as Brian May of Queen (calling himself a Danel's fan in the album booklet) and, at the launch event, by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. The photo of Danel and the First Lady of France will be the most seen "people" shot of the week in France. The album hits #3 on the national downloading charts, and the single "Rock me baby" with Axel Bauer is ranked at #36. The physical version of the album contains a dvd, which gets a platinum disc. Another single hits the chart at #12 in France, and is a hit in Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Jean-Pierre Danel is featured in the list of the 1 000 best guitarists in the world on the American website "worldguitarist.com" and is listed in Rolling Stone magazine among the 30 most important Fender Stratocaster players.
Danel also wrote a dozen of books, including "Femme mode d'Emploi" (thousands of quotations about women), and "Tribute to the Fender Stratocaster" based on his vast guitar collection, which includes the famous guitars "Miss Daisy", "Lady Rose" and "La Marquise". In 2007 he published a biography of French play-writer, director and actor, Sacha Guitry, as well as a humoristic autobiography and several other books in 2008 and 2009. He writes a biography of Elvis Presley in 2010.
Jean-Pierre is the son of the well-known French pop singer Pascal Danel, who wrote and sang the 60s French hits " Kilimandjaro" and "La Plage aux Romantiques", among others, and he is the nephew of opera director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.