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