Jacques Schwarz-Bart presents “The Harlem Suite” (in Paris)

Celebrating his new album, The Harlem Suite, Jacques Schwarz-Bart will perform at the Duc des Lombards on April 13 and 14, with Grégory Privat on piano, Reggie Washington on bass, and Arnaud Dolmen on drums. Au Duc des Lombards is located at 42, rue des Lombards, Paris (75001).

Eline Ulysse writes about Jacques Schwarz-Bart’s musical trajectory for Outremers360:

Jacques Schwarz-Bart celebrates his journey between Guadeloupe and New York with his new album “The Harlem Suite.”

Surrounded by talented and brilliant musicians, Guadeloupean saxophonist, composer and arranger Jacques Schwarz-Bart is releasing his new album “The Harlem Suite”—an album that materializes a childhood dream of celebrating in music each stage of his journey from his native Guadeloupe and the years spent in New York and more precisely in its emblematic part, Harlem, the Mecca of American jazz. It is a look back at the career of a jazz great.

It’s not always easy to have a first name, even less a surname when your name is Schwarz-Bart and you’re the son of André Schwarz-Bart, winner of the Goncourt Prize in 1959 for the novel ” Le Dernier des Justes” and by Simone Schwarz-Bart, a successful author notably for “Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle,” considered a masterpiece of Caribbean literature, or even “Ti Jean l’horizon.” However, Jacques Schwarz-Bart managed to make his mark to acquire a certain international reputation by tracing his own path where we least expected: music.

Rocked to sleep from an early age by the Gwo ka d’Anzala, one of the emblematic figures of the Guadeloupean Gwo ka, the young Jacques Schwarz-Bart who was promised a brilliant career as a diplomat or a position as a high official in the French administration, after studying political science at the University of Assas in Paris, turned away from this royal path to move towards music and joined the Berklee College of Music in Boston to study jazz, his favorite music.

A musical identity at the crossroads of jazz and Afro-Caribbean music

Shortly after, he moved to New York and more specifically to Harlem, considered the “Mecca” of American jazz where he met great names in jazz and Nu Soul, including Giovanni Hidalgo, Erikah Badu, Bob Moses, David Gilmore, Roy Hargrove, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, and even Herbie Hancock, with whom he collaborated and developed his musical identity—located at the crossroads of jazz and soul and Afro-Caribbean music.

A musical universe that he made known with his first album, entitled “Immersion.” It was 1999. Then came “Inspiration,” in 2003. In 2006, he realized his project of drawing a hyphen between Gwo ka music and jazz supplemented by a few touches of soul, funk, dance hall, and Brazilian music with his album “Soné Ka La.” In 2008,  his new album “Abyss,” was made in tribute to his father, writer André Schwarz-Bart, who had died two years earlier, in 2006. An opus still rooted in jazz ka and for which he invited Guy Konket, another great figure of Guadeloupean Gwo ka, as well as Stéphanie Mc Kay and Elisabeth Kontomanou. In 2010, he renewed his collaboration with Stéphanie Mc Kay on the album “Rise Above—Jacques Schwarz-Bart Feat.”

In 2012, he produced his 6th album entitled “The Art Dreaming,” then in 2014, it was “Jazz Racine Haïti,” an album inspired by vodoun ritual music, a fusion of modern jazz and “root” music such as blues. The album was supported by UNESCO as part of the “Slave Route” program. In 2018, he did it again with “Hazzan Mosaic” (Music from African Diaspora), then he continued in 2021 with “Soné Ka La 2 – Odyssey,” a new version of his jazz ka.

A collaboration on more than 150 albums

In total, Jacques Schwarz-Bart has collaborated on more than 150 albums and produced more than twenty. This demonstrates the stature achieved by the Guadeloupean musician, composer, and arranger who, despite his busy schedule, finds the time to give lessons at Berklee and to go on tour around the world, as attested to with the recent “Black Lives Tour,” performed in 2022.

But the saxophonist with a powerful sound had a dream in mind: to celebrate through music each stage of the journey that brought him from his native Guadeloupe to New York and more precisely to Harlem—a perilous but rewarding journey of over 20 years in this iconic part of New York City. “The Harlem Suite,” his latest album is therefore a childhood dream for which he signed most of the compositions after being surrounded by brilliant musicians such as Victor Gould, Grégory Privat, Sullivan Fortner, Matt Penman, Reggie Washington, the gifted Arnaud Dolmen on drums, Malika Tirolien and Stéphanie Mc Kay on vocals. A 9th album with more Afro-Caribbean groove and lyrical melodies inspired by the aesthetics of Caribbean jazz.

Crowned with his latest opus, Jacques Schwarz-Bart will perform at the Duc des Lombards in Paris with Grégory Privat on piano, Reggie Washington on bass, and Arnaud Dolmen on drums. Run to see him, the opportunity to celebrate with him this album—”The Harlem Suite”—a real gem of authenticity and polyphonic vibrations. [. . .]

Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full review, photos, and music videos, see https://outremers360.com/bassin-atlantique-appli/le-saxophoniste-et-jazzman-guadeloupeen-jacques-schwarz-bart-celebre-son-voyage-entre-la-guadeloupe-et-new-york-avec-son-nouvel-album-the-harlem-suite4

Also see https://jacquesschwarz-bart.bandcamp.com/album/the-harlem-suite

Au Duc des Lombards

42, rue des Lombards, Paris (75001)

Tél : 01 42 33 22 08.        

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