Lionel Suarez is a French accordionist born in 1977 in Rodez (Aveyron). He is from a family of musicians and has been naturally initiated to music and rhythms by his grandfather and father both accordionists.
He takes his first lessons of solfege and accordion from a great accordionist and orchestra conductor François Acéti when he is 8. He starts playing piccoloboe in front of an audience at 15, at balls and get interested to rock music as a bassist in a high school band.
He improves his technique with accordionist André Thépaz and studies at the Marseille conservatoire where he graduates with the first prize and a gold medal with honors.
From 1995 to the beginning of 2000, Lionel Suarez keeps playing in balls and small venues and at the same time he is getting interested by other music style: Occitan music (he plays with Occitan singer Claudi Marti with Gérard Pansanel), street theater, salsa, French songs and variety music. He initiates himself to improvisations techniques thanks to people he meets and discovers jazz by himself.
He often plays around Toulouse area and plays with Jehan, thanks to whom he will get known. Noticed for his quality of sideman and soloist, he works and records with Zebda, Sandoval, Art Mengo, and Claude Nougaro.
In 2002, Lionel Suarez moved to Paris suburbs, which allowed him to play with artists such as Bernard Lavilliers, Florent Pagny, Mouss et Hakim, Lio, Latcho Drom, Maurane, Wally.
He forms the duo “Suarez + Minvielle” with singer André Minvielle” which get a real success in the jazz scene and jazz festivals since 2006.
He also plays accordion for tenor Roberto Alagna on the album “Sicilien” which is a record of cover of Sicilian songs.
Since 2006, he takes part to Laurent Cugny’s jazz opera “La technique des nuages” with among others, Thomas Savy, Nicolas Folmer, David Linx, Denis Leloup, Airelle Besson.
In 2009, the festival « Jazz sur son 31 » in Toulouse choose him to be the artistic director of their program « Une heure avec » for which he choses to perform with Vincent Ségal, Minino Garay, Terez Montcalm, Éric Séva and Airelle Besson.