Pianist Stephan Oliva started making a name for himself in the jazz world in the early 90s through his work in trio based on his own compositions.
With Claude Tchamitchian (b) and Jean-Pierre Jullian (dr), he recorded "Novembre" on OWL Records and was awarded the Django d'or [Golden Django] as "Most promising artist of the year 1992".
After the solo recording "Clair obscur", he made "Jade Visions" in trio with Bruno Chevillon (b) and Francois Merville (dr), as a personal tribute to pianist Bill Evans.
In 1997 he was behind one of the CDs in the "Jazz 'n (e)motion" collection, a set of improvisations by piano soloists based on film music.
He also proposed lectures on the film music composer Bernard Herrmann, (Hitchcock, Welles, Scorsese), illustrating them on the piano.
He and pianist Francois Raulin formed a duo to explore the music of the great American pianist Lennie Tristano; the resulting free interpretation is like a playful conversation between them.
The duo was enlarged to include five more artists, and a new work and ultimately a record, "Sept Variations sur Lennie Tristano", grew out of the whole experiment. The additional artists were Laurent Dehors (cl), Christophe Monniot (s), Marc Ducret (g), Paul Rodgers and Bruno Chevillon (b).
He's been playing with American drummer Paul Motian and Bruno Chevillon since 1997. Two new records, "Fantasm" and "Interieur nuit", were released as a result of the trio's work honouring Paul Motian's compositions.
In 2001 he returned to his own compositions, this time in quartet with Matthieu Donarier (s), Guillaume Seguron (b) and Jean-Pierre Jullian (dr). They toured in Finland and Estonia in 2002.
In 2003 the quartet became a quintet with a new line-up: Matthieu Donarier (s), Jean-Marc Foltz (cl), Bruno Chevillon (b), Nicolas Larmignat (dr). ("Itineraire imaginaire").
Since 2003, he's been playing in a trio with the singer Linda Sharrock and Claude Tchamitchian on double bass. In duo with singer Susanne Abbuehl, they offer some new versions of their favourite standards.
In 2004 he took part in the "Soffio di Scelsi" project, together with Jean-Marc Foltz (cl) (with whom he also plays in duo) and Bruno Chevillon (b).
He composed and played the music for a film by Jacques Maillot, "Froid comme l'ete", which won the Prix Italia. He has also composed music and improvised directly with the screening of George W. Pabst's silent film "Lulu".
He plays in trio with guitarist Remi Charmasson and Claude Tchamitchian (b).
His meeting with drummer Joey Baron led to a series of duo concerts at the Theatre du Chatelet in June 2005.
He's taken part in some of the projects ("Res Futurae", Le Roman Entrechoque") conceived and realised by artist-composer-percussionist Alain Joule.
He is a sideman in the following bands or groups: Claude Tchamitichian's Grand Lousadzak and Acoustic Lousadzak, J.P. Jullian's Aghia Triada and Opus Incertum, Pierre Michel's project on jazz and contemporary classical music, and now and then with Bernard Struber's Orja.