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Death of Jacob Desvarieux, leader of the Kassav 'group and father of zouk

2021-07-31T05:07:01.681Z

The Guadeloupe guitarist died this Friday at the age of 65 as a result of the Covid-19. Zouk lovers in mourning. Jacob Desvarieux died this Friday at 65 as a result of Covid-19. The Guadeloupe guitarist was one of the founders of the group Kassav ', a monument in the West Indies which enjoyed enormous success in the 1980s by mixing local music to create a style, the zouk. In fragile health since a kidney transplant, the musician was hospitalized on July 12 in Pointe-à-Pitre after bei



Zouk lovers in mourning.

Jacob Desvarieux died this Friday at 65 as a result of Covid-19.

The Guadeloupe guitarist was one of the founders of the group Kassav ', a monument in the West Indies which enjoyed enormous success in the 1980s by mixing local music to create a style, the zouk.

In fragile health since a kidney transplant, the musician was hospitalized on July 12 in Pointe-à-Pitre after being contaminated by the coronavirus.

Among the many reactions to his death, that of the Guadeloupe judoka Teddy Riner, who paid tribute to "an immense voice from the West Indies", while the former minister Christiane Taubira, originally from Guyana, said his sadness, remembering "his voice , his draw, his talent, his joy, that smile, that tilt of his head and even his early dungarees ”.

The West Indies, Africa and music have just lost one of its greatest Ambassadors.

Jacob thanks to your art, you brought the Antilles closer to Africa.

Dakar where you lived is crying to you.

Goodbye friend.

pic.twitter.com/7v9CZLP5hV

- YOUSSOU NDOUR (@YoussouNdourSN) July 30, 2021

“The West Indies, Africa and music have just lost one of its greatest Ambassadors.

Jacob thanks to your art, you brought the Antilles closer to Africa.

Dakar where you lived is crying to you.

Goodbye friend, ”Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour tweeted.

"Zouk la sé sèl medikaman nou ni"

“Initially, it was a laboratory: we were looking to find a soundtrack which synthesizes all the traditions and previous sounds, but which can be exported everywhere,” the musician told the newspaper Liberation in 2016. A cocktail that will give birth to festive and dancing hits sung in Creole, such as "Zouk la sé sèl médikaman nou ni" (1984, on an album that Desvarieux co-signs with another founder of Kassav'm but who does not release under the name of the group) or “Syé bwa” (1987).

“Through our music, we question our origins. What were we doing there, we who were black and spoke French? », Explained to Libé Desvarieux, the soft and veiled voice and the hair whitened by the years. "Like African Americans in the United States, we were looking for answers to pick up the thread of a story that had been confiscated from us," he added.

Kassav exploded at the same time as "world music", world music: in the mid-1980s, the public thirsted for distant and mixed music.

“Our music had to be

West Indian

, that is to say recognized by the West Indians, unlike what was happening then with world music: it was Anglo-Saxon music with a singer from the Third World, sometimes singing in his own language, ”however qualified Jacob Desvarieux.

Concerts around the world

Kassav '(in reference to cassava, a cassava cake) was founded in 1979 by Guadeloupe artists, Pierre-Edouard Decimus (from the group Les Vikings de la Guadeloupe) and Freddy Marshall. They recruited other musicians, including Desvarieux, born in 1955 in Paris and who, as a guitarist, claimed rock influences, from Chuck Berry to Jimi Hendrix. The basis of the group's style is gwo ka, Guadeloupe music marked by drums. He adds other ingredients from all over the Caribbean - Haitian compass, biguine… - and modern packaging, with bass, brass and keyboards.

Kassav's first album, “Love and Ka dance”, was released in 1979. 1980 marks the first appearance in the group of the one who will become its emblem: the Martinican singer Jocelyne Béroard. Kassave reached the peak of his popularity at the end of the 80s. He signed a contract with the multinational record company CBS, released the album "Vini Pou" in 1987 (platinum record) and received a Victoire de la musique in 1988 Praised by the American jazzman Miles Davis, the group goes on to concerts all over the world. And alongside the many albums of Kassav ', its members release solo records.

Since then, the fashion for zouk has fallen, but Kassav 'has continued to attract a large audience in concert.

Monument in the West Indies and star in France, the group is also very well known in Africa.

The clip for “Syé Bwa” was shot in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was still called Zaire).

"Africa has opened up to us even before France," Jocelyne Béroard told Jeune Afrique magazine in 2019.

“They didn't understand Creole, but they repeated more or less phonetically, or they created their own versions,” she smiled.

Zouk la sé sel médikaman nou ni

(Editor's note:" Zouk is the only medicine we have "), for example, became

Zouk la, I ate half a kilo of rice

 !

"

Source: leparis

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