La Bohème…

La bohème, la bohème,
Ça voulait dire on est heureux….
La bohème, la bohème
On était jeunes, on était fous….

It was 1974. We were young. And poor. We lived in a basement and slept on the floor. The only furnishings were a white mirrored piano, a stereo, and a few hundred LP albums. Ernie was experimenting with jazz music and as his enthusiasm blossomed, impromptu freestyling sessions and conversations about our Afro-Haitian musical heritage lasted till dawn. Most of our friends were struggling artists or musicians… Roro Trouillot started Tanbou Libète rehearsals in that basement. There was music aficionado Sansan Etienne, Joe Charles and his electric bass, Dernst Emile and his guitar, and Buyu Ambroise, who was skinny then and had a huge afro, and who carried his tenor sax wherever he went….


More than 30 years later, Buyu still carries his sax everywhere and still has the same passion for music. In his two released cd’s, "Blues in Red" and "Marassa", he weaves together traditional melodies and rhythms of Haiti with contemporary jazz. His repertoire draws from the music of the Haitian countryside as well as Haitian pop music, and blends them seamlessly into the sound and style of American jazz.

Buyu has been working on this concept for a long time. In the 1980’s, Buyu on tenor saxophone and Ernst Marcelin on piano and keyboards, founded Ayibobo and Freefall, two bands which fused musical elements of traditional Haitian folklore with jazz.

The musicians: Gene Torres, Mino Cinélu, Ernst Jean-Louis, Robert Ameen, Donald "Spider" Nicks, Bobby Sanabria, and Joe Charles among others, made headlines playing funk, classical and avant-garde jazz in different spots in New York.
Later, Buyu’s passion for jazz music led him to study with jazz legends such as Frank Foster, Jimmy Owens, and John Lewis. He also performed in New York with various Haitian groups, recorded with Ayizan, a landmark avant-garde rara ensemble led by Tite Pascal, and worked in the Project Liberty Jazz Ensemble with drummer Ben Dixon.
Today, Buyu is one of the finest tenor saxophonists around, and his strong, exuberant, swaggering sound will have you celebrating the wonders of Haitian music from the very first note….

michèle voltaire marcelin

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