Born and raised in Grenoble, France, Romain studied first with local teachers, and in 1998 received a Scholarship to study at Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. While studying at Berklee from 1999 to 2002, Romain received 3 awards distinguishing him as an exception talent: the Roy Haynes Award, Stephen D. Holland Award and the Guitar Department Achievement Award. While in his last semester at Berklee, Romain had the distinct honor of being chosen out of more than 1000 students, to represent the Berklee Guitar Department by performing the opening act for the guitarist Pat Metheny. While in still in Boston, he was featured on grammy nominated trumpeter, Christian Scott’s first album. He also shared the stage with Warren Wolf, Esperanza Spalding, Lionel Loueke…In 2002 Romain graduated with his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from Berklee.
In 2003, Romain moved to Paris and formed his own band with some of the most promising talents of the French jazz scene. He released two albums with this group. The first of these albums, "The Romain Pilon/David Prez," was released in 2005 on the renowned Spanish record label, Fresh Sound New Talent. His debut album was described as a ‟revelation” by Jazz Magazine. The second album, “II," came out in 2008, and was also very well received by the press in France. This album received four stars in Jazz Magazine, who wrote "Surely of the most sincere and enthusiastic jazz group -and album- to emerge in France." The website CitizenJazz.com qualified the band as "one of the best jazz groups in France now."
In 2009 Pilon formed the artist collective with David Prez and Sandro Zerafa, "Paris Jazz Underground." This collective of musicians toured Brazil two times, playing in over ten cities, and released the self entitled album, "Paris Jazz Underground,” which was described as a "Revelation" in Jazz Magazine (France) and received the highest rating, "Choc," in Jazzman (France).
In 2010, Pilon recorded his first album as a leader, “Ny3," with an all star American rhythm section comprised of drummer, Colin Stranahan and double bassist, Matt Brewer. With this album the guitarist made a big impact on the French scene and received the best possible ranks in the two main jazz papers of France: Jazz News (Top of the month) and Jazz Magazine (Choc). It was also selected in the list of the "92 modern jazz recordings you need to listen to," on the website “learnjazzstandards.com."
His second album was released in 2013 on the UK label, Whirlwind Recordings, and featured tenor saxophonist, Walter Smith III. Smith made a name for himself accompanying such luminaries as Roy Haynes, Terence Blanchard, as well as Jason Moran. The recording, entitled “Colorfield", was named one of the best of 2013 by Jazz News (top 6 of the month), it received 4 stars in UK magazine, Jazz Wise. BebopSpokenHere.com hailed Romain Pilon as "one of the most outstanding guitarists to have emerged in recent years," while the Financial Times gave the album 4 stars and hailed Pilon as "a world class player." The group played in London’s prestigious Kings Place for their CD release concert and also went on to perform in France, Italy and Portugal.
Pilon’s third album, "The Magic Eye," was released on the French Label Jazz&People and featured his regular trio plus two US tenor saxophonists: once again Walter Smith III and Ben Wendel. One of the leading tenor saxophonist of his generation, Wendel has worked among others such as Snoop Dog, "the artist formerly know as Prince" and is the founder of Grammy-nominated group, Kneebody. “The Magic Eye" gathered great reviews in France: "top 6 of the month" in Jazz News, French radio France Musique qualified the album as "profound poetry" while the French magazine Telerama cited the album as "Fresh and attractive." The magazine “Guitarist" featured a full page on Romain Pilon’s influences, gear, upcoming projects.
Pilon’s last album came out in 2017, again on the Jazz&People label. “Copper," an ambitious project, confirmed Pilon as one of the most creative musicians currently living in Europe. This recording featured US tenor saxophonist, Seamus Blake, best known for his work with the Charles Mingus Big Band and three-time Grammy award winning guitarist, John Scofield. Jazz Podium (Germany) wrote: "a wonder of style and taste," Jazz Wise (England) said it was "an impressive eight cut set" and Jazz Magazine again ranked it with the highest ratings, “Choc," and stated it as a "powerful and seminal" album.
Romain Pilon’s band has played in many clubs all over Europe - Musig Im Pflegidash (Muri), Jazz Station (Belgium), Duc des Lombards (Paris), Hot Club in Lisbon, and in festivals such as Malta Jazz Festival, La Londe Jazz festival, Crescent Jazz festival, Saint Omer Jaaz festival, Vitoria Jazz Festival, Ezcaray Jazz Festival …
As an accompanist, Pilon cultivates an extraordinary versatility. His ability to play both traditional jazz and the most modern forms of this art has made him a much in demand sideman. He plays/has played with the Keystone Big Band (winner of a "Victoire du Jazz" for best group in 2018, French equivalent of Grammy award), Grammy award winner Keyon Harrold, bassist Linda May Han Oh, trumpet sensation Ibrahim Maalouf, pianist Frank Woeste, organist Sam Yahel, Pierre de Bethmann ("Victoire du Jazz" winner 2008), Anne Paceo (Artist of the year in 2016 at "Victoire du Jazz"), trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat, Belgian trumpet player Jean Paul Estievenard, Charlier/Sourisse and many more.
He appears on over 25 albums. His collaborations have led him to play at jazz landmarks such as Recife Jazz Festival in Brazil, EuroJazz Mexico, Brosella Jazz Festival, New Morning in Paris, Kreol Jazz Festival in Cap Verde…
Aside from his career as a performer, Romain Pilon is a renown pedagogue, and has lead master classes and workshops in France, Spain, USA, England, Portugal, to name a few. In 2016 he started a YouTube series entitled "Jazz Guitar Mini Lessons,” which has been a huge success in the guitar community, with more than 6000 downloads of the pdf files and over 260000 views on the videos. He teaches at Imep Paris, CRR in Douai (one hour from Paris), he is also a visiting artist at CMDL and is on faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California.