Jacques Schwarz-Bart
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Jacques Schwarz-Bart

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR
Band Jazz Soul


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2010 Rise Above (Dreyfus Jazz)
2008 Abyss (Universal, Obliq)
2006 Sone Ka La (Universal, Obliq)
1999 Immersion (Fresh Sound)

All works available on iTunes and have received radio play



Jacques Schwarz-Bart was born of mixed races. His early experience as a man taught him that one can be a harmonious receptacle for several cultures, as long as each one is given its value and importance. Much later in life, Jacques quits his carreer as a French government official to embrace music and study at Berklee College in Boston. He then understands that the identity of a man can evolve based his choices. In fact, after living in NY for 21 years now, Jacques has also become a New Yorker…

Says Jacques : « My musical identity follows the same type of evolution. My early musical being was made of two styles : Gwoka music and Jazz, and I dedicated much time and effort to each of them. But later on, my extended experience in soul music along side artists such as D’angelo or Me’shell N’degeocello, helped redefine my musical being. And Soul Music is an intricate part how I feel and hear music today».

In the wake of this unique and evolving musical identity, all of Jacques’ Projects can be situated at the crossroad of Jazz, soul, and afro-caribbean musics.

In 1997, Jacques collaborates with Trumpeter Roy Hargrove for the first time as part of the band called Crisol.

Early 2000, he is called by D’angelo for the Vooddoo tour. As Roy Hargrove leaves the horn section to pursue his own touring carrer, D’angelo entrusts Jacques with leading the horn section. Jacques Immediately starts writing tunes based on a mixture of soul and jazz with gwoka flavors. He calls it « The Brother Jacques Project ». While his instrumental concept is still growing, he meets with the woman who is his wife today, the great singer Stephanie Mckay, and starts writing songs with lyrics.

Says Jacques : « Adding her vocal presence completed the concept, allowing me to embrace a wide range of emotions, and find an artistic balance between simplicity and abstraction ».

As they start playing the music live in NY in 2001, it quickly finds a following. In 2003, Roy Hargrove puts together the “RH Factor ”, from which jacques’ song Forget-Regret becomes a successful single, featuring Stephanie Mckay!

That very song is also used in a Hollywood movie called « it runs in the family », featuring Kirk and Michael Douglas. A piece of the Brother Jacques Project has found its way to the world…

Jacques then leaves Roy ’s band to create his Gwoka Jazz Project and records 2 albums for Universal, Soné Ka La and Abyss, which have built his current carrer as an internationally acclaimed jazz band leader.

Recently Jacques has become a father. After the birth of his son, he listened to the songs that were dedicated to his mother years ago... « I was happy to find that they still sounded fresh » says Jacques.

That is how he decided to finally complete this project today, and give those songs a chance to be documented and heard… in the album « Rise Above ».