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Jacques Schwarz-Bart

Undoubtedly Jacques Schwarz-Bart shares this vision put forth by the writer Patrick Chamoiseau, “The contemporary melting pot of cultures and ethnicities has created a worldwide phenomenon of “creolisation”.. This New York based jazz saxophonist, praised by major American soul artists, raised by a Black Guadeloupean mother and a French Jewish father-, grew up between Switzerland and Guadeloupe… The son of two award wining novelists, Jacques followed an original and sinuous path that speaks volume about his identity. He was born in the suburbs of Pointe a Pitre on December 22nd 1962. In those days, it wasn’t proper to speak Creole, and playing Gwoka drums was left to Negroes from the woods, “fat heels Negroes”, who kept alive the spirit of the runaway slaves, the Maroons, and celebrated their African Heritage. These were vividly described in the novel “a woman called Solitude” by André Schwarz-Bart (1972), through the story of a slave woman that took an important part in the revolt against the French repression in 1802. In Pointe a Pitre, a statue reminds us of this important piece of history, never mentioned in official French school books, and symbolizes the tenacity of a different identity. It is this different identity that is the soil for Jacques’ inspiration in his new CD. Jacques Schwarz-Bart comes from this background of parents concerned with Caribbean music, Caribbean history, as shown through their respective works, starting with “Pork and Green Bananas”, co written by Simone and André in 1967: “separation is a great ocean, where many have drowned”. Certainly, this reflection alluding to the tragedy of the crossing of the Atlantic from Africa, was food for thought for Jacques Schwarz-Bart, as it defines a common ground between all societies built on the enslavement of Africans, a common geo-historical space, and, furthermore, a common esthetics. As part of that space, both Gwoka and Afro American/Jazz music attempt to exorcise the “hopes and torments of the creole soul”. Guy Conquete, the great Gwoka poet, foresaw the natural Union of those two musical forms: “Cotton fields, sugar cane fields”. Says Jacques, “The great common denominator between all the styles I love, being Gwoka, Jazz, or Soul, is that the music starts with the drums. It is all about the feel. The word “Gwoka” comes from N’goka, a word from central Africa that means: the drums. It is interesting that gwoka and jazz even shared the same name at one point: Bamboula.

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Album Review

Jean-Paul Bourelly: Black Lives - From Generation to Generation

Read "Black Lives - From Generation to Generation" reviewed by Vic Albani

Doppio CD o doppio vinile prodotto in HI-Res e con packaging di lusso dalla Jammin'colorS, agenzia per artisti jazz, world, funk, alternativi, hip-hop, electro e sperimentali nonché etichetta indipendente. Il lavoro che ha pubblicato in tanta pompa magna è un ampio collage di musica nera realizzato da 25 musicisti africani, caraibici e afroamericani guidati dalla visione creativa di Stefany Calembert (compagna del bassista jazz Reggie Washington) e produttrice estemporanea dell'etichetta belga. A tutti è stato chiesto di comporre ...

Album Review

Jacques Schwarz-Bart: The Harlem Suite

Read "The Harlem Suite" reviewed by John Chacona

Tenor saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart has lived in jny: Paris, Senegal, and Switzerland as well as his native island of Guadeloupe, but his 18 years in jny: Harlem were crucial to his life and career. It was there that he found himself at an inflection point in the dynamic music scene of the late '90s, playing with such transformative visionaries as Roy Hargrove, D'Angelo and Meshell Ndegeocello. With The Harlem Suite, Schwarz-Bart nods affectionately to that time and those ...

Album Review

Various Artists: Black Lives - From Generation to Generation

Read "Black Lives - From Generation to Generation" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Indeed, African Americans are the architects of several musical formations, hearkening back to Scott Joplin's development of 'ragged' rhythms i.e., Ragtime, along with blues, funk, jazz, and other genres, often evolving into various tangents and offshoots. And on this comprehensively entertaining set produced by Belgian Stefany Calembert with assistance from her husband and acclaimed bassist Reggie Washington, they righteously bestow Black Music as a “source of moral truth and potent weapon against racism." Numerous stars such as saxophonist ...


Jacques Schwarz-Bart's Afro-Caribbean Odyssey

Read "Jacques Schwarz-Bart's Afro-Caribbean Odyssey" reviewed by John Chacona

The saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart was born on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in the shadow of La Grande Soufrière, which is both an active volcano and the highest mountain in the Lesser Antilles. Both aspects of that peak get to the heart of Schwarz-Bart's career, which has been characterized by rapid ascents and explosive creativity. About those heights: Schwarz-Bart, who is 58, didn't take up the saxophone until he was 24 years old. Three years later, he was ...

Album Review

Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Sone Ka-la 2: Odyssey

Read "Sone Ka-la 2: Odyssey" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The French-Jewish-Guadeloupean saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart--a background and name like that has world music written all over it--presented his Sone Ka-La (Emarcy) in 2007, after stints with D'Angelo's Voodoo touring band, Roy Hargrove's Crisol and Rh Factor, Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, all influences that helped him craft a hybridization of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies inspired by Gwoka traditions of his native island of Guadeloupe. Gwoka is a music born on the western Atlantic Island in response, in part, to the miseries ...

Radio & Podcasts

Listeners' Favorites

Read "Listeners' Favorites" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Time for tunes that moved you from Shows 361-370. Our concerts in Baton Rouge clearly resonated with you. Many of the most commented upon tracks featured artists that performed in Baton Rouge this Winter and Spring. Works for me. Just because you may be out-of-town shouldn't phase you though. We tally all of our listener comments world- wide. So don't be shy. Fire up your email client and drop us a line when the spirit hits you. Enjoy the show. ...

Radio & Podcasts

Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Multicultural Identity, Authenticity and Sound.

Read "Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Multicultural Identity, Authenticity and Sound." reviewed by Leo Sidran

In this podcast episode, saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart explains why he never fit neatly into any one category. He says, “I knew early on in my life that I could not go down a regular path. It would be hard for other human beings to totally accept me the way I am." From the very start, Jacques' life was unusual. Born in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe to a pair of writers (his mother the Guadeloupean novelist Simone Schwarz-Bart ...

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The Art Of Dreaming, By Saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Set For September 25 North America Release

The Art Of Dreaming, By Saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Set For September 25 North America Release

Source: Michael Bloom Media Relations

Saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart’s most recent CD, “The Art of Dreaming", released in Europe earlier this year, is set to debut in the United States and Canada by Naïve/Naxos on September 25, 2012. The project is called “The Art of Dreaming" because of the state of heightened awareness shared when musicians play together, which can be described as ‘”dreaming while awake”. According to Carlos Castañeda, anthropologist and author, ancient Toltec sorcerers had developed the art of staying aware while dreaming, in ...



Jacques Schwarz-Bart Featuring Stephanie McKay: 'Rise Above' on Dreyfus Jazz August 31

Jacques Schwarz-Bart Featuring Stephanie McKay: 'Rise Above'  on Dreyfus Jazz August 31

Source: Chris M. Slawecki

Soulful sax man Jacques Schwarz-Bart makes his Dreyfus Jazz recording debut with Rise Above, an eclectic blend of jazz and neo-soul featuring the stirring vocal stylings of former Brooklyn Funk Essentials singer Stephanie McKay. Rise Above is an epic culmination of this son of a Black Guadeloupean mother and a French Jewish father's diverse experiences. “The great common denominator between all the styles I love, being Funk, Jazz, Soul and R & B, is that the music starts with the ...

Roy Hargrove



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Tempo Bom



People Of Earth

Jammin' Colors


The Harlem Suite




Alcus Records


Black Lives - From...

Jammin' Colors


Sone Ka-la 2: Odyssey

Enja Records


Cama De Gato

From: Tempo Bom
By Jacques Schwarz-Bart



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