Jean-Claude Coquempot, a native of France, began formal studies at the Conservatory of Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 27. Some years later he became a double bassist in the orchestra "Collegium Academicum," Geneva, and substituted in the big band of the Radio Suisse Romande (RSR) for whom he wrote several tunes. He took classes of harmony, counterpoint, music analysis, and, with Rainer Boesch, electroacoustic music.
Given his background and the workshops he attended, the scope of his mentors in composition ranges from Norbert Bichet, a small farmer and guitarist from France, Jacques Guyonnet, twice president of the International Society for Contemporary Music, Alberto Ginastera in Geneva, to Max Deutsch in Paris.
From a negligible amount of music, he has fond memories of his submission for a workshop with Ginastera: his piece for four percussionists and piano – later selected by the International Center of Percussion, Geneva; the Festival Tibor Varga (Switzerland); and for radio broadcast (RSR).
Following a return to France, Jean-Claude completed degrees in French literature, teaching French, and music. The advisor for his doctorate (on music and society, University Paris VIII) was Daniel Charles – musician, philosopher, and author of For the Birds: John Cage in Conversation with Daniel Charles among other works. Nine years spent in various agencies and in the Secretariat of the United Nations offered Jean-Claude the opportunity to work with people of different cultures.
Studies in the U.S. include French Literature (ABD, University of Maryland, 1998) and
Information and Library Sciences (Master, University of Southern Mississippi, 2000).