By M. Skye Holly | Photos by Gregg Richards
We already know that books can take you to places you’ve never been. Music does the same thing. When you want books, you go to the library. Now, when you want music, you can go there too.
On Thursday, October 3rd, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., jazz lovers did just that. They excitedly awaited for the debut of CHARDAVOINE Haitian Jazz Sextet at the Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library, located on Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. As part of the Dwecklectic events series, fans of CHARDAVOINE were able to enjoy a mix of the artist’s original compositions, as well as a selection of jazz standards and traditional Haitian songs.
The crowd ranged from young to old and everything in between- with the youngest audience member being a child in elementary school (who told the band’s leader that he was able to come that night because he had finished all of his homework). Reflective of the audience itself, CHARDAVOINE is made up of seasoned musicians who are of different ethnicities and play different styles. On guitar is Chardavoine; on the tenor and soprano saxophones is Jason Marshall; the acoustic bass is played by Oleg Osenkov; Misha Tsiganov is on the piano; Russell Carter is on the drums, and on the Haitian conga is Zilibo.
The night started off with “Mesi Bondye,” written by Frantz Casseus and the well-known “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” by Herbie Hancock. Many songs performed that evening, such as “Bird of Beauty” by Stevie Wonder, and the Haitian traditional “Latibonit, were requested from the artist latest release, “The Tribute”.
“Pese Cafe” moved the crowd almost as much as the ultimate hit of the show, “Con Alma,” written by Dizzy Gillespie. If the special arrangement of “Con Alma” wasn’t enough to garner a whole new appreciation of the song, then the special guest performance of Choqui on percussion definitely was. The element of surprise and talent amounted to a well-rounded, tight blend of sounds in all the right places. Haitian kompa singer King Kino, of Phantoms fame, who was in the audience, seemed to think so as well. All featured music was arranged by Chardavoine.
On most nights, people like to curl up with a good book. That night, CHARDAVOINE Sextet’s classic and progressive tunes provided an alternative well worth listening to.