Jean-Michel Guenichot, son of a career soldier, was born in Douala, Cameroon, on June 29, 1966. At the age of 4, he started to learn the piano in the city of Avord. Having to move regularly from base to base, his family finally chose Bordeaux, where he attended Collège Saint Martin. In this school, he completed his study program with piano and singing lessons. In 1974 he chose his main instrument. Sometimes called the « poor man’s piano » or « a piano with straps », he decided on the accordion. Very quickly, accordion became for him the epitome of our French popular musical culture, and will remain with him for the rest of his career.
Music, sport and travel
Parallel to his music, his passion for team spirit brought him to also engage in the « King of Sports », rugby. Here again, his competitive temperament allowed him to access upper level qualifications. He played winger for two years. Spotted by some of the talent scouts, he was initially selected to join France’s future talent team. Unfortunately, an injury in a game, stole away his chance to make a career out of the game. Today, he is still involved and coaches the youngest players in the Girondins club.
His first calling was music and he collected, between 1975 and 1983, an important number of awards in both national and international contests. For example, in November 1982, he won First prize, Merit Cross and a High Distinction at the European Grand Prix in Limoges. In March 1983, he received First Prize for Excellence and a high distinction at the Musical Cup of France which was being held in Bordeaux. Ever since 1983, he has used his talent and participated in great variety of groups and shows. A few years later, the idea of merging sports performance and music started to form in his mind.
In 1994, he beat the endurance world record of accordion playing with an amazing performance of 251 hours and he then entered the Guinness Book of World Records. With this new record and his accordion (specially designed in carbon for the event), Jean-Michel became the undisputed star of the Accordiola brand.
Jean-Michel Guenichot or the tireless accordionist continues to criss-cross the roads of France. He released his 3rd album composed and covers in 2014. 20 years after his first endurance record, he came back to what he had said in 1994, “if in 20 years nobody beats it, I will do it again.” And so, at the age of 50, on October 16, 2015, he moved to Brouss’Art Musique in Pessac (Gironde) until October 27. And 11 days and 3 minutes later, he became the only DOUBLE World Champion of endurance at the accordion. The media around the world followed this event and reported on it.
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