From June 19 to 30, zouk will be more than ever in the spotlight in Martinique on the occasion of the 5th edition of the Festival International du Zouk (FIZ). The cultural event will have as guests of honor Jocelyne Béroard and Frédéric Caracas. A tribute will be paid to Gilles Floro who died 20 years ago.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Kassav’ group and as part of the International Zouk Festival of Martinique will be organized in partnership with the Université des Antilles, Martinique Centre from June 19 to 20 an international conference entitled “Zouk : Trajectories, Imaginary and Perspectives” (see article published by Kariculture.net May 7) on the campus of Schoelcher and the Town Hall of Schoelcher.
The Martinique FIZ will have two famous guests of honor : Martinican singer of Kassav’ Jocelyne Béroard and Guadeloupean bass guitarist Frédéric Caracas who played with Kassav’ from 1991 to 1996.
However, the association “Lyannaj’Art Event” which has been organizing the FIZ of Martinique for 5 years noted that the presence of the famous singer is not assured if things change in the planning of the group that created zouk music. Indeed, it has just started a world tour to celebrate its 40 years of existence on May 11 at the Arena in Nanterre, Paris, in front of 40 000 spectators, and then on May 25, Kassav’ will perform in Guadeloupe before taking off for other stages…
In addition, the FIZ of Martinique will pay a tribute to Guadeloupean zouk singer and musician Gilles Floro, died on June 22, 1999 at the age of 37.
Of course, music will have an important part in this cultural event. The organizers plan to invite professional musicians and singers to be part of the jury of the different categories of competitions and to participate in the various concerts. They rely on Martinican artists who have already taken part in the FIZ such as Pipo Gertrude, Joël Zabulon, Jean-Luc Guanel, Jean-Marie Ragald, T&S etc. “Lyannaj’Art Event” and professional artists will help the winners of the contests to develop their project. In addition, at least 5 concerts are planned during the Festival to promote zouk with the values of love, peace and sharing.
Several artistic disciplines
Master classes in dance, song and DJ will be given by professional artists to all those who wish to learn or improve in these disciplines and they will have to pay.
For the “singing part”, Guadeloupean singer with his baritone voice, José Gérard Toucet, is announced. He was trained at the David Jones School in New York and at the Laboratoire de la Voix with Raphaël Sikorski in Paris.
The “dance part” will be led by “Les Taxis Zoukeurs”, an association that promotes zouk and other Caribbean couple dances (konpa, biguine, mazurka etc), participates in various cultural events or videos and gives group dance classes.
As for the “DJ part”, it will be carried out by DJ Chouchou James, the only DJ woman on the island who has mixed in several local radios and nightclubs, won trophies (Best DJ of the year and Best DJ of the Internet users, in 2017) and who travels to show her talent in Paris (L’Empire, Le Palacio, Espace Pierre Peugeot, Espace Garden Paradise etc.) and Guadeloupe (L’Instant)…
The International Zouk Festival of Martinique will organize an art exhibition (painting, sculpture etc.) around the zouk culture that will be opened to amateur and professional artists.
Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 June : International Symposium: “Zouk: Trajectories, Imaginaries and Perspectives” at the Université des Antilles in Schoelcher & Schoelcher Town Hall
Friday, June 21 : Press Conference – Song Pre-selection Concert (Place Bertin or CDST)
Saturday, June 22 : Street com with “Les Taxi Zoukeurs” on the Malécon in Fort-de-France (morning) – Free opening concert of the Festival (CDST)
Sunday, June 23 : Auditions (Espace Tivoli) DJ / live band
Monday, June 24 : Dance Master class (Les Taxis Zoukeurs) Espace Tivoli
Tuesday, June 25 : Dance Master class (Les Taxis Zoukeurs) Espace Tivoli
Wednesday, June 26 : DJ Master Class – Espace Tivoli
Thursday, June 27 : Master Class of group singing (José Gérard Toucet) – Espace Tivoli
Friday, June 28 : “Choc des DJ” (DJ Competition) – Performance of “Zouk Dance under the Stars”
Saturday, June 29 : Contest “Zouk Love Song for Peace”
Sunday, June 30 : Live group competition – Opening of the patronal feast-day of the town of Saint-Pierre – Concert
*This programme is preliminary and subject to changes