Barbadian Jazz Musician delights Martiniquans – Woodvine celebrates with Fal Frett
Barbados jazz saxophonist and composer Andre Woodvine recently returned from a successful tour to the 2011 Martinique jazz festival where he joined well-known Martinique jazz group Fal Frett for a concert celebrating their 35th year in the music business.
Fal Frett treated their loyal fans to a two and a half hour sold-out show at the beautiful L’Atrium concert hall in Fort-de-France. Internationally renowned vibraphonist Dave Samuels, best known as a member of the bands SpyroGyra and the Caribbean jazz project, made a special guest appearance with Fal Frett. Woodvine has been a member of Fal Frett for the past decade, recording several albums with them and touring to Paris, France.
In addition to Andre’s involvement in Fal Frett’s anniversary concert, the organisers of the 2011 Martinique Jazz Festival invited Woodvine to headline a performance at the Rivière Salée cultural centre where he treated the standing room only audience to a ninety minute concert of original compositions and Caribbean jazz standards including music from his CD “Fix it on Monday”.
Accompanied by the Martinique group “Caribbean Groove”, Woodvine, much to the appreciation of the local audience, managed to introduce his songs in French rather than English. “It took me right back to my French lessons in school,” André said, “Only when I took my school exams I didn’t have a huge audience!”
No stranger to the French West Indies, Andre’s long association with Martinique goes back to 1987 when he was invited to become a member of the West Indies Big band, a Caribbean jazz ensemble based in Martinique and comprised of musicians from all over the region. Over the years Woodvine has made regular performances in Martinique jazz festivals including the Lamentin and Beguine jazz festivals.
“Martinique has become a second musical home to me,” says Woodvine, who notes the influence of the French Island’s culture in his musical compositions and arrangements. “Separately, our unique cultures are wonderful, yet when we mix them together we get so much more”.
In January 2012, Woodvine, with the support of Invest Barbados, will be traveling along with a Barbadian delegation to Cannes, France, to participate in the international music trade show MIDEM.