Jean Matelot Ferret was born in 1918 in Rouen, France. The youngest of three brothers, he did not wait for adulthood to go to Paris, instead he ran away from home to follow his older brothers. He was at the time 13 years old and already skilled at the banjo and violin. The famed violinist Jean Guelesco – the Czar’s violinist – convinced him to give up the fiddle and take up the guitar. Soon he was playing every where in Paris, from the cabarets russes to the jazz clubs of Montparnasse – and of course the bals-musette.