Driving tempos, layered percussion, sizzling brass and smooth vocals from
the French Caribbean islands of
Martinique and Guadeloupe
||Zouk is a distinctively
tracing its roots to the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Zouk can have
an infectious, loping dance beat (chire or beton zouk) that will get everyone
on their feet--"zouk" means "party" in Creole--or
it can have a seductive, ballad-like feel (zouk love).
Driving tempos, layered percussion (and lots of it), sizzling brass sections, melodic elements from around the world, and smooth vocal harmonies all go into the mix. Sung almost entirely in the Creole language of the French Antilles, the result is truly a unique melange!
Zouk was popularized by Kassav' over 25 years ago and today remains an important part of Caribbean music, although it's influence has waned in recent years.
If you want to learn more about Zouk, check out the review of an ethnomusicological study, "Zouk: World Music in the West Indies". You can purchase the book at many internet bookstores. Also, look for past issues of "The Beat" magazine, which has run several articles on Zouk over the last couple of decades (Vol 5 #4 1986, Vol. 5 #5/6 1986, Vol. 6 #1 1987, Vol. 9 #6 1990, Vol. 13 #6 1994).
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