Jean-Luc Ponty (b. 1942) is a virtuoso French violinist and jazz composer.
Born on the 29th September 1942 in Avranches, France, he was trained as a professional classical violinist at the Paris Conservatory. His attraction to jazz was propelled by Miles Davis's and John Coltrane's music.
In 1977 Ponty pioneered the use of the five-string electric violin, with a lower C string. He sometimes also uses a six-string electric violin called the violectra, with low C and F strings – not to be confused with the violectra he played from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s which had four strings, but tuned an octave lower. He was among the first to combine the violin with MIDI, distortion boxes, phase shifters, and wah-wah pedals. This resulted in his signature, almost synthesiser-like sound.
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