The Voice, a natural musical instrument…

The 11th edition of the “Voix d’Ici et d’Ailleurs Festival” (Festival of Voices From Here and Elsewhere) with local, national and international guests, organized by the town of Baie-Mahault, is already being prepared.

The 10th edition which took place from June 19 to June 21, 2015, on various sites in front of a expert audience, had been memorable.

The “Voix d’Ici et d’Ailleurs” Festival (Festival of Voices From Here and Elsewhere) was created in 2002 and had as godfather, the famous gwoka singer (now dead) Guy Conquête. After having been annual, this cultural event that received, among other celebrities Liz Mac Comb (United States), Beetova Obas (Haiti), Desandann (Cuba), Roselyne Cyrille (Martinique), Salif Keita (Mali), Mado and Oswald (Saint Martin), Éliane Helia (Brazil), Paul Mado and k-Koustic (Guadeloupe), is since 2011 biennial.

According to the festival’s name, the voice was the instrument highlighted during these three days of free and decentralized concerts in the territory of the town of Baie-Mahault, in La Maison Coloniale de Wonche, on the “Place de la Reconciliation” and the Church of St. John the Baptist in the town centre.

The voice has been heard in various music styles like zouk, gwoka, jazz, classical, gospel, merengue, French pop. Eleven artists and groups, some from the Caribbean, were invited to perform in front of the expert public which is in love with beautiful voices, on the occasion of this 10th edition of the “Voix d’Ici et d’Ailleurs” Festival :

– Trio Vwa Gwada, a group with three Guadeloupean zouk and gwoka singers, Brigitte Zabarel, Francelyse Berthély and Lucile Kancel ;

Lokans Guinen Rasin, a group of Haitian artists who played with local musicians ;

– Sons Mêlés, made up of Corine Pierre-Fanfan and Angélik Sings, two singers from Guadeloupe who live in France and explore jazz, soul and reggae ;

JeanLouis Dick, a gwoka singer from Baie-Mahault who knew great ka-masters such as Henri-ka Delos Sopta and Carnot ;

Freddy Saada, a Senegalese pop-soul singer who made an album only with voices and “corporal” percussions ;

Liane Foly, the famous French pop and jazz singer, actress and impersonator (SACEM Great Prize of Humour, in 2003) ;

Tonya Baker, one of the greatest voices of the American gospel who participated in the Jazz Festival in Juan, in 2009 ;

Kinito Mendez, one of the Dominican ambassadors of merengue, several times nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards ;

Jaklyn Etienne, one of the few women in the circle of gwoka (SACEM Discovery Prize, in 2001) ;

MarieLine Garnier, a Guyanese opera singer who already performed on national and international stages as the Philharmonie de Paris, the Compiègne Theatre or the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Other stages were set up to honour the famous Guadeloupean guitarist – Philippe d’Huy – suddenly died in June, 2014, and to celebrate the traditional dance with Akadémiduka group. Moreover, an exhibition titled “The Gwoka : music, dance, song and identity practices in Guadeloupe” had been organized from June, 13 to July 4, 2015, in the Multimedia library Paul Mado in Baie-Mahault. In this same place, was held on June 27, the seminar on “Gwoka : From the plantation to Unesco, issues and prospectives” conducted, among others, by Félix Cotellon, organizer of the “SainteAnne Gwoka Festival”.

Next meeting with the Voice in a few months, in 2017 !