Georges Granville and Thierry Vaton continue their research on Creole music

Thierry Vaton & Georges Granville

After “Le piano dans la musique créole” in 2014, “Kantik Bò Kay” in 2018, the two Martinican pianists published “Créole Jazz” last November. These educational books allow everyone to discover and appreciate Creole musical culture.

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The Association pour le Développement des Musiques Créoles (ADMC) was founded under the initiation of two musicians, Thierry Vaton and Georges Granville. Its aim : “To discover, transmit and promote the Creole musical cultural heritage in its historical, sociological and geographical forms and with all supports (courses, master classes, workshops, concerts, exhibitions, conferences, training courses) and through the creation of specific tools (educational books, CDs, DVDs, etc.)”. These two Caribbean musicians have therefore decided to honour these rhythms and sounds born from the mixing of African, Caribbean, Indian and European influences.

Their recent research was devoted to Creole Jazz or Kréyol Djazz and resulted in a 92-page book of scores for instrumentalists (in the clé of C, E-flat, F and B-flat) in the collection “Sur un air de…”. There is a selection of tracks composed by some twenty groups or musicians from Guadeloupe, Guiana, Haiti, Martinique and Reunion, namely Bwakoré, Mario Canonge, Louis Caristan, Jean Caze, Yann Cléry, Marius Cultier, Falfrett, Thierry Fanfant, Meddy Gerville, Alain Jean-Marie, Véronique Hermann, Céline Languedoc, Denis Lapassion, Eddy Louiss, Mizikopéyi, Beethova Obas, Sylvain Ransy, Gilles Rosine, Sakésho and Zépis.

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Other publications on francophone Creole music

The preface was written by Martinican singer Tony Chasseur.

“The authors wanted to bring together different generations, sensitivities and Creole horizons to present the richness of this musical language, dedicated to improvisation and harmonic and rhythmic elaboration,” reads the presentation of this first volume on jazz music published in November 2020.

In 2018, the two Martinican pianists published in the same collection “Sur un air de…” a collection of scores entitled Kantik Bò Kay comprising 24 Advent and Christmas songs in Creole and French, some in several versions : Alléluia; Allez mon voisin; Allons-y donc; An nous chanté Noël; C’est Noël; Dans le calme; Douce nuit; Il est né le divin Enfant, Joseph mon cher fidèle, Les anges dans nos campagnes, Les bergers, Les temps marqués, Michaud veillait, Minuit chrétiens, Naissez, Noël, Noël à l’Emmanuel!, Ô miracle d’amour, Oh! La bonne nouvelle, Pour un maudit péché, Quand Dieu naquit à Noë, Quand Jésus naquit, Satan crève, Souvenez-vous-en, Voisin. The 92-page booklet was also available in four keys (C, F, B flat and E flat). “In addition to being a research work, it is a real cultural memory tool that we want to make available to everyone”, they said.

In addition, in 2014, they published “Le piano dans la musique créole – Méthode Exercices Transcriptions”, a 214-page pedagogical book, in French and English, with a CD, intended for musicians, conservatories, music schools and the general public and presenting the richness of the piano in Creole music (Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guiana).

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Two pianists with a solid musical training

Georges Granville is a former student of the Bill Evans Academy. For three years he studied jazz culture and improvisation at this school in Paris. His musical openness has allowed him to perform on national and international stages with artists from diverse universes such as : Beethova Obas, Bélo, John Ellison, Tony Allen, Gérard Mendès, Zouk Machine, Tony Chasseur, Kali, Denise Reis, Marvin, Arsenik, Secteur A, Abd El Malik, Dédé Saint-Prix, Yanick Cabrion, and Tanya Saint-Val. The pianist was also a teacher at the Institut de la Culture Musicale (ICM) in Paris for nearly fifteen years.

Concerning Thierry Vaton, he studied at the conservatory of music in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and the American School of Modern Music in Paris. In the late 1980s, he made his stage debut with bands such as Éliktara, Gazoline and Martinican flautist and percussionist Dédé Saint-Prix. He then accompanied Kaoma, Kassav’, Angélique Kidjo, Miriam Makéba, Mory Kanté, Dany Brillant, Philippe Lavil, La Compagnie Créole etc. With Tony Chasseur, he created Mizikopéyi, the first big band of contemporary West Indian music (Martinique and Guadeloupe).

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