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                                                  FLORENT ATEM
                                       Florent Atem.com
                                              You Tube




     Nicknamed "Shredder Boy" by some great Hawaiian artists, Florent Atem, beside being an English teacher in Tahiti, is a dedicated student of the guitar and a passionate musician. Born in Papeete, Tahiti, on November 24th, 1979, Florent grew up surrounded by all kinds of instruments and in a highly musical environment, his sister Carole practising the piano and their father being a local music ukulele and guitar player. However, although he soon became a great music fan himself, it was only at age 13 that he decided to seriously pick up the guitar.

     After a year of private lessons in Tahiti, Florent attended the Guitar Institute of Technology 
(GIT) at Musicians Institute (MI) in Hollywood, during the months of July and August '97. Never losing any opportunity to learn, Florent always kept his ears wide open and eagerly incorporated the newly acquired concepts into his own playing. Influenced by electric guitar masters such as Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Shawn Lane or Michael Angelo, Florent soon began to explore those great players' unique styles, before eventually recreating, in his own way, the aural atmospheres that characterize each of them, thus sharpening his tools in the process. Hard practice quickly turned him into a quite exciting player and endless hours of experimentation resulted in further refinement of his style.

     Although he usually performs in Tahiti (where he lives), Florent has given many concerts in Hawaii and has even jammed in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Paris. Beside leading his own band in his home island, Florent also had the honour to share the stage with many top artists from both Tahiti and Hawaii (the latter category including people like Jerry Santos, Melveen Leed, John Cruz or Henry Kapono) and his guitar work has been featured on several Tahitian and Hawaiian recordings. Since 1996, Florent has himself released four albums, with his sister Carole on keyboards and then also on vocals. (Check out the Discography section for more information.) "Escape", the opening piece on their award-winning first record - Southern Cross - was even selected to be featured on a New Talent Search compilation in the United States for "technical ability and originality".

     A few years ago, Florent also had the tremendous privilege to get in touch with one of the players he admires most : electric guitar god Michael Angelo, who listened to some of Florent's new material (featured as music clips in the Exclusive Samples section) and praised both his playing and songwriting : "I think the new disc is great. [...] The performances are really good and professional. The musical compositions were very good. [...] Keep up the great work." (Check out the Reviews section for more information.)

     In May '03, after hearing one of Florent's recordings, Joe Satriani's producer John Cuniberti expressed interest in working on a new album with him and his sister on keyboards and vocals in Sausalito, California. There, they cut some tracks in July '03 with Joe Satriani's drummer Jeff Campitelli and the wonderful Michael Manring at The Plant recording studio. Florent also got to meet one his heroes, Joe Satriani, at the studio, a few weeks before he would start working on a new album with John Cuniberti and Jeff Campitelli. Beside Joe Satriani, The Plant has also welcome artists such as Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, The Doobie Brothers, Metallica, The Dave Matthews Band, or Journey just to name a few. Carole and Florent went back to Sausalito in August '04 to finish the recording of the album, again with Jeff Campitelli on drums but this time with Matt Bissonette on bass - in other words Joe Satriani's rhythm section at that time. A collection of all-original material by Florent Atem, including both instrumental pieces as well as vocal tunes, Dreamtown was produced by world-class producers John Cuniberti and Bob St John, became Florent Atem's first solo record and enabled Carole and Florent to perform two highly successful shows in Tahiti with Jeff Campitelli and Michael Manring in June '05. The two producers were also present on both nights.

     In 2006, the Hawaiian Slack Key Kings guitar compilation - featuring Florent Atem's original piece "Sacred Ground" as well as tunes by Jack Johnson and slack key master Ledward Ka'apana - was nominated at the Grammy Awards in the "Best Hawaiian Music Album" category. Henry Kapono - whose band featured Carole and Florent until a year before - was also among the five nominees. With this nomination, Florent Atem became the first Tahitian ever to be nominated for the prestigious US music awards ceremony.
     In 2008, Florent achieved another of his dreams when he performed live with guitar god Michael Angelo Batio, one of the world's greatest rock guitarists, who invented the double guitar and was voted the "n°1 shredder of all time" by the US press.

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