Gifrants is the bandleader of Vèvè, one among the latest Haitian musical groups, based in Boston, Massachusetts. He was born in Cap-Haitien, the second most populated and important city located in the North of Haiti. He started playing the guitar and writing his own music at the age of 13. At 19, he won first prize at two national radio contests held consecutively for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. The song that was submitted for the Valentine's Day contest was re-titled 'Bossa Valentine' by the jury, because of it's soft bossa nova beat, and the use of elaborate progressions. He moved to the United States in 1982, and performed at different venues in New York. He founded 'Sakad', one of the first bands that started the 'roots music' movement, along the lines of Boukman Eksperyans, Boukan Ginen, RAM, etc. His 1987 release, entitled 'Rebati Kay-la' (Let's Rebuild the Country), was well received in Haiti, as well as among the Haitian communities living abroad. This song was included in a compilation of Caribbean music produced by Jonathan Demme, director of the movies, 'The Silence of the Lambs', and 'Philadelphia'. Gifrants left 'Sakad' the following year to pursue a career as a solo artist. He continued to explore different styles within the spectrum of Haitian music, such as folk, pop, ballads, and contemporary music. 'Rara-mwe', released in 1990 is the testimony of an avant-garde musician strongly determined to bring new elements to Haitian music. That's why his CD entitled, 'Serenade by Gifrants', released in 1998, reflects a very mellow style spiced with Brazilian and Jazz music, but still flavored with Haitian music. The careful choice of chords and progressions, the predominant elements of his music, reinforced by a very good songwriting ability, combined with a funky and jazzy arrangement style of the horn section, brings Vèvè to a much more competitive edge on the World Music scene. Among the many new aspects brought by Gifrants in his new style, should be noted the adaptation of folk songs mostly unknown by the new generation of Haitians living in Haiti and abroad. It is, in a sense, a revitalization of Haitian culture, trying to slow down the strong phenomenon of acculturation happening currently within the Haitian society. Gifrants' lyrics tell of his love - love for life, for nature, and for Haiti, his country - in addition to amusing tales of everyday life. They translate clearly the overall happy tone of his music, which, truly, is well written and well produced. With a very warm and seductive voice, Gifrants expresses the hope and determination of a nation struggling for a better life. He conveys his feelings and emotions in Creole, English, and French, in such a way that his audience can relate, and share with him, the depth and intensity of those feelings. The blend of Haitian music, Brazilian music, and jazz reflects Haiti's cultural heritage - it's African roots, European birthmark, and American influence.
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