Gwoka jazz meets voodoo: already early on, tenor saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart came into contact with gwoka, the traditional music of his home country Guadeloupe based on West African roots. After working with greats like Roy Hargrove, Meshell Ndegeocello, or Chucho Valdes, he began a solo career: on albums such as Soné Ka La (2007) and Abyss (2008) he combined jazz harmonies and gwoka spirituality. His current project is also shaped by a love of Antillean mysticism: Jazz Racine Haïti fuses modern jazz with Haitian songs that originate from the voodoo context, and are celebrated by the French press as the “opera of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora”, in their reviews of the album from 2014. Along with fellow musicians like the Haitian singer Moonlight Benjamin and percussionist Arnaud Dolmen from Guadeloupe, Schwarz-Bart creates a captivating feel between a New York jazz bar and a sublime spirituality.
Latin American song culture, arranged for the twenty-first century: with their avant-garde arrangements of popular pieces from Columbia, Venezuela, and Mexico, Bituin, two pairs of siblings from Bogotá, turn the classical cantautor genre on its head and translate it to New Music. Their experimental approach to greats like Violeta Parra, Astor Piazzolla, or Chabuca Granda one the one hand pays homage to the tradition, while at the same time deconstructing it, with a reduced and hypnotic feel. The haunting, often floating-dissonant singing of the two sisters Juanita and Valentina Añez are combined with jazzy or driving percussion that repeatedly breaks out of the mold – plus: a funky contrabass.