Forthcoming album: Jacques Schwarz-Bart’s “The Harlem Suite”

Guadeloupean jazz saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart’s new album, The Harlem Suite, is available for pre-ordering. It will be released on releases March 31, 2023. The titles of the tracks are Sun Salutation, Butterfly, Twisted, Ambrosia, Equivox, Central Park North, Time Travel, From Goré to Harlem, Look No Further (available for sampling now), and Dreaming of Freedom. [With pre-order, you get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.]

Jacques Schwarz-Bart is a New York based jazz saxophonist. His mother is the Guadeloupean novelist Simone Schwarz-Bart, author of The Bridge of Beyond. His father was French-Jewish author André Schwarz-Bart. The two published a joint novel, Un plat de porc aux bananes vertes, in 1967. The family traveled widely, living in Senegal, Switzerland, and Goyave, Guadeloupe.

Jacques Schwarz-Bart is dubbed “Brother Jacques” and his music has incorporated rhythm and blues as well as hip hop influences. His musical path is atypical. At age four, he was offered a Gwo ka drum, and Anzala showed him how to play the seven fundamental rhythms: Toumblak, Graj, Lewoz, Kalagya, Padjanbel, Mende, and Woulé. At age six, while living in Switzerland, he discovered jazz music through his best friend’s father’s record collection. Fascinated, he taught himself guitar by playing along with records. By age eleven, he was sitting in with the players of the local Lausanne scene, but soon after, his family relocated to Guadeloupe. There, without a jazz scene, he concentrated on his studies, most notably at the prestigious School of Government called Sciences Po, and eventually landed a job as a Senator’s assistant in Paris. At twenty-four he appeared poised for a more conventional success, until by chance he tried a friend’s tenor saxophone. He practiced between his long hours at the Senate, and three years later, he abandoned his nascent career to attend Berklee School of Music, in Boston. [. . .]

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