Yves Francois et Rocambu Jazz
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Yves Francois et Rocambu Jazz

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Bio

Yves Francois et Rocambu Jazz was formed in 2001 by Chicago jazz trumpeter Yves Francois Smierciak and several other like minded Chicago musicians. The mission of Rocambu Jazz is to explore the rhythms of African and Afro Diaspora musics. We are finding the common bonds between music from West Africa (highlife and the Guinean and Malinky music of Senegal and Mali), Congo (old school rumba, soukous), Martinique (biguine), Haiti (compas), Cuba (son, conga ), Jamaica (ska), Trinidad (calypso), Brazil (choro, samba, bossa nova) and New Orleans (early jazz/dixie land). Rocambu Jazz exploits the common bonds of the musics in our unique interpretations of the various forms. Essentially we are speaking of the various creoles all these nations provided when the African rhythms and phraseology met the melodies of Europe (France and Spain). The African musicians reshaped the great popular music vocabulary of the 20th century musics. These musical forms have many names, but they are all a musical creole broadly known as jazz.

Our approach to performing the various forms is interpret the spirit and flavor of the music and not to imitate.What do we mean by that? A lot has happened in music since some these forms were created. New forms and phraseologies have come about and can not be ignored. The musicians in Rocambu Jazz come from different backgrounds and have all had different musical experiences. We like to take advantage of these differences just like the musicians that created these various forms of jazz. It is the spirit of sharing ideas and culture that keeps the music alive and fresh. To imitate or try to recreate the music totally as it was originally performed would be to deny the essence and spirits of the people that created it. To cling to tightly to the original forms would effectively render them dead.
We try not to do that.