Biography of Caravelli

by Horacio Miguel Vazquez

CARAVELLI, real name Claude Vasori, was born September 12th of 1930 in Paris, from Italian father ( from Milano ) and French mother.

He was initially instructed in music by her mother in piano and voicing/harmony at seven years old, and later, when he was thirteen he started to attend the Paris Conservatoire.

At twenty he was professionally touring, accompanying singers on piano, and his first son, Patrick was born (his daughter two years later).

When he was 26 years old he started as orchestra conductor.

In 1959 with the help of famous French jazz bandleader Ray Ventura, he obtained a contract to form his own orchestra oriented to popular music.

In 1956 Caravelle Aerospatiale introduced the twin jet Caravelle. This plane was the first jet created for the short-haul market. The first Caravelle entered service for Air France on May 9, 1959. France was proud of it. So Claude took this name which he turned more Italian in honor to his father origins, changing the last letter: "CARAVELLI et son Violons Magiques (his Magnificent Strings)" was born.

He signed a contract with the French record label Versailles. His fist album "Dance Party" is recorded ( issued also in STEREO ).

So under Versailles licenses his early recordings are edited in other countries ( 20th Century Records in USA, Ariel in Argentina and Discophon in Spain, etc.)

In 1962 he composed "Et Satan conduit le bal" original soundtrack under his real name, French film starred by young Catherine Deneuve. An EP record was issued in France.

Later Versailles is acquired by Columbia records (1964). Thanks to CBS worldwide distribution facilities soon he started a real international career, obtaining gold records in France, Japan, Israel and South America.

With his orchestra he also made recordings with Maurice Chevalier and Charles Trenet ( La mer / Beyond the sea, and I wish you love composer ) among other singers.

In 1970 he composed "L'Homme Qui Vient De La Nuit" soundtrack film, starred by Ivan Rebroff. This soundtrack was issued in LP by CBS France.

In 1970/1 he recorded an album in USA .

He is one of the first and few Western artists who were invited to conduct the NKH Orchestra from Japan TV Network.


His first Japan Live Concert is recorded in 1972 by CBS.


In 1973 one of his own compositions was included in the Frank Sinatra album "Old Blue Eyes is back" : "Laisse moi le temps" / "Let me try again", original French lyrics by M..Jourdan, English lyrics by Paul Anka.

This song was previously presented in competition at the "Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar", Chile, representing France and obtaining a 2nd prize (a Chile song was the winner), although it was considered the best song by critics and people. Making a delayed justice, a few years ago, it was proclaimed the Best Song in the history of this Festival, in its 40th Anniversary, something unusual for a non 1st prize in any song contest. This song was also covered by Raymond Lefevre.

In 1978 he composed and recorded the title song of "Goldorak et les 2 Mazingers", for the Japan anime/cartoon.

In a television interview in Buenos Aires (1980) he informed he was coming from making his recording # 2000. It was Berlin "White Christmas".

In 1981 he toured with his orchestra in the ex U.R.S.S. with great success ( all concerts sold out).

The following year he went back to that country, this time to make a record in the Melodiya label with Russians musicians and female singers ( in his style without lyrics). This record "Caravelli in Moscow" includes 12 songs, majority written by young pop Russian composers of that time, and a couple of traditional tunes. 10 themes were recorded in Moscow/Melodiya, and 2 in Paris/CBS with his own orchestra.

In 1983 “Caravelli plays Seiko Matsuda” album is recorded in Japan in digital.

In the middles '80 in order to up to date his sound he started to share the rhythm arrangements with his son Patrick Vasori and prestigious musicians like Gilles Gambus and Serge Planchon, who also played keyboards and synthesizers with the orchestra.

In November 2001 he was touring Japan with an orchestra composed of 32 musicians (tour N° 7), invited by Sony Foundation ( the previous tour was in 1996 ).

According to this event Sony Music Japan edited another 2CD set "Caravelli plays Michel Polnareff and ABBA", being the first (Polnareff) a selection from '60 & '70 albums (including his outstanding cover of Love me, please love me, but in mono) and the second (ABBA) a selection from 70' recordings.

In November and December 2002 he recorded a 15 songs album titled “A new day has come” with his Grand Orchestre in Brussels, Belgium, for Readers’s Digest.

In December 2003 he was touring Japan again. This time 6 concerts, all sold out.