Former Kassav Singer Patrick Saint-Eloi Has Died

Guadeloupe is mourning the death of Patrick Saint-Eloi, former singer with the French Caribbean group Kassav, who died of cancer this Saturday morning (September 18, 2010) at the age of 52. Often referred to as “PSE,” Saint-Eloi is remembered by his friends as “a sensitive man, who was both reserved and generous on stage.” Georges Décimus, bass player and founder of Kassav says “We have lost a brother today.”

The two Caribbean channels of France-Télévision, Télé-Guadeloupe and Télé-Martinique, interrupted their programs upon hearing of Patrick Saint-Eloi’s death, dedicating to him a live an over one hour-long show. In Guadeloupe several local radio stations broadcast, since Saturday at midday, only songs by Saint-Eloi.

Leaving Guadeloupe for Paris when he was 17, he took singing lessons there and worked in clubs until he met Georges Décimus and the founding of the group Venus One, of which Saint-Eloi became the leader. Saint-Eloi joined Kassav in 1982, first as part of the chorus and then as one of the major singers of zouk. He left the group in 2002 to embark on a solo career.

Kassav is in concert this Saturday night in Mulhouse, France. Members of the group will most certainly pay tribute to their old friend.

For full article (in French) and Saint-Eloi music video, see http://www.20minutes.fr/article/598488/culture-l-ancien-chanteur-de-kassav-est-mort

Listen to Saint-Eloi’s “Ki jan ké fè” here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24FL7V-OMmw&feature=related

22 thoughts on “Former Kassav Singer Patrick Saint-Eloi Has Died

  1. Very sad news for Guadeloupe and the rest of the Caribbean. Unfortunately PSE and Kassav are not as known as they should have been. Their music is very rich but given the relative isolation of the french speaking Caribbean from the rest of the Caribbean, it is not widely known. Thanks for posting this news and creating this blog as Caribbean people in general know very few about their other Caribbean fellows music, culture, food, art, film etc.

  2. Shock disbelief and grief. I have seen this guy live in seychelles… he was great and they were great as a group (kassav) He will be missed… zouk music has lost a legend…

  3. I only learned of the demise of this giant of zouk music in the Caribbean from my wife who is also a lover of his music. I too believe that the man will be missed immensely. I can only hope that both Patrick and Arrow will be singing for the Gods. May they rest peacefully.

    PS. I host a radio show on 105.5 fm in Toronto, Canada Monday nights 11pm-1am my favourite Patrick Saint-eloi tune is Ballade Kreyol(darline).
    http://www.chry.fm click (listen live)

  4. C’est tres triste de perdue un ci bon musicien. Il est mon hero , J’aime tellement ses chansons et il resteras toujours dans mon coeur.Qu’il se repose en paix.

  5. may his soul rest in peace. can still remember him when kassav came to my home town Bamenda Cameroon & the show he put on. we will really miss him.

  6. Zouke music moves me so emotionally, that i choked up when i heard of Patrick Saint Eloi passing. Rain washedout jazz a couple of years ago in st.lucia but last year with heavier down pours we suited up and made our way to the pigeon island venue to groove to kassav. La sa se le zouke

    1. I often find myself going back to his goodbye service , it was so moving, the French solidarity is also worth noting; its just all about my true love for his music and that of kassav; His music gives me that drive and assurance that everything is ganna be all right no matter what the circumstances are.
      RIP PSE

  7. I am quite shocked. He is one of the pioneers of Zouk music and he contributed enormously to the success of the Kassav Group. He was a great musician and will be missed by many of us around the world. R.I.P.

  8. legends never die.Patrick will be remenbered through his great music legacy generation after generation across the planet eath.

    all thanks for Patrick for everything he has donne and also thanks to the family for having given us patrick.

    zcx/toronto

  9. Rest In Peace (R.I.P.) PSE. Your legacy will last forever. Your repertoire will always stay at house. I don’t feel tired to listen to your music. God bless.

  10. R.I.P. Patrick S. Eloi. What an amazing singer he was! I basically grow up with Kassav songs, having heard the group’s song for the first time in early 1980s. I saw them performing life in Luanda – Angola where I’m from- it was the experience I’ll never forget. You can’t watch them playing and just stay idle, you’ve got to shake all you’ve…I mean all!

  11. just bought two of pse cds last week and had no idea of his passing,i listen to his music whenever i feel for some zouk.jah has other plans for you patrick.you did your best.respect.r.i.p

  12. Great Heroes Never Die….

    I just was listening to a song of PSE, and notice that someone has writting RIP to him.
    I was shocked, and worst of all after 6 months of his passing away I notice it.
    So for real Legends never die.
    KASSAV was always the group of our nation, because when we heard this kind of music, we could not understand nothing what they was singing, but it sound so great in our ears, that we also begin to play music with their rithims.

    The Netherlands Antillies Islands – Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire is very thankfull to KASSAV and others.

    During years I leurned to speak the language of Martinique and Guadeloupe and finally understand the power of the songs of PSE…He is the Original Lady Killer of ZOUK

  13. I loved this guy so much, he performed in angola many times and i was in deep shock that my legend died bt he is still alive in zouk music… When i listen to his voive i become overwhelmed and yes R.I.P patrick..
    We Love U

  14. so sorry to read this news. am so said that it’s only now i know about it just taking in some lovely music of cassav and reading that my man is dead.what a miss i loved his music so much the [people who knows me can tell how much i love zouk music, it’s a part of my life best must that ever exist for real the ;love it brings and the people it brings together its unbelievable.

  15. When I tired of the BORING music of the 80’s I turned to Kassav, PSE, Jakob, Jocelyn. Their work resurrected traditional African /music when it was difficult to find. Tom me they are the 80’s answer to Francois (tp ok jazz) who made the traditional fresh, hot and accessible.

    Still working to understand French patois, lol.

  16. I amso sorry of the loss of Patrick. I just found out yesterday after three years. New tears have been shed for him as I remember him to be so charming and talented. My deep sympathy to Franliz, his sister and his mom. May God have him in heaven. Patrick I love you…. LIANA

  17. I took my favorite music out of boxes in my garage, and was so happy to listen to Kassav. I have listening for the past week. And today I was watching the 1999 20th anniversary concert in Bercy on YouTube, and was choked to learn that PSE died in 2010. I didn’t know. My heart broke. I love them all so much! RIP PSE. Que la terre te soit légère! Tu resteras toujours dans nos coeurs.

    Francine

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