When renowned trumpeter Etienne Charles presents his Folklore concert on October 22, he will be joined by a group of talented musicians and performers, among them 3canal, Tracey Sankar and French saxophonist Jacque Schwarz-Bart.
Born in Guadeloupe to two acclaimed writers, Schwarz-Bart is an internationally-renowned musician who has played alongside the likes of D’Angelo, Roy Hargrove, Danilo Perez, Ari Hoenig and Meshell n’Degeocello.
Schwarz-Bart, winner of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and Prix Bernheim des Arts awards, formed his band, the Gwoka Jazz Project in 2005 influenced by Gwoka Music, indigenous rhythms of Guadeloupe played on a two-drum family of hand drums called gwoka.
Jacques and his Gwoka Project recorded two albums for Universal, Soné Ka La and Abyss, which built his current career as an internationally-acclaimed jazz band leader.
Schwarz-Bart continued his exploration into indigenous culture with a 2012 project that synergised modern jazz and ritual voodoo music from Haiti.
Charles worked on this album which also features two Voodoo priests: the great singer Errol Josué, and percussionist Gaston Bonga, and jazz musicians Obed Calvaire, Luqies Cutis, and Milan Milanovic.
After touring extensively with this project, Schwarz-Bart’s Jazz Racine Haiti project was finally recorded and released by Motema Music in January 2014, and inspired raving reviews from journalists all around the world.
“Mr Schwarz-Bart through his liquid glissandos that dapple bluesy phrases and spiritual intercessions has created a new language between tenor saxophone and trumpet. And for that Mr Charles seems to be in the right place at the right time. Mr Charles is himself highly spiritual and these bedfellows are pre-eminently disposed to making music that is complex in its proverbial imagery of voodoo and the moveable metaphor of jazz,” said a review in the Latin Jazz Network.
Since the release of Jazz Racine Haiti, Schwarz-Bart has become an ambassador for a school of modern Jazz rooted in voodoo music.
In late 2016, he became associate professor at Berklee College of Music, where he is teaching mainly ensembles over different styles: jazz music, neo-soul.
He has also been busy working on two new projects. Voodoo Jazz Trio and Jewazz which is the jazz recording and interpretation of Jewish liturgical chants, many of which carried the spirit of a people through 5,775 years of history. This project is a tribute to his late father, the writer, André Schwarz-Bart. Both projects are to be recorded by the end of 2017.
Folklore Live takes place at Queen's Hall, at 6 pm. Doors open at 5 pm. Tickets at Queen's Hall Box Office and other outlets