uVu producer Jessy Schuster was raised on the French island Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. As she went home for the holidays, she shared with us some of her home country" best of" culture and landscapes.
To start, let's discover the music of Guadeloupe: Gwo Ka. Known as folk music, Gwo ka is hand drums music.
Different sizes of drums establish the foundation and its flourishes, with the largest, the boula, playing the central rhythm and the smaller, markeur (or maké) drums embellishes upon it and interplays with the dancers, audience or singer. Gwo ka singing usually guttural, nasal and rough, though it can also be bright and smooth, and is accompanied by uplifting and complex harmonies and melodies. There are also dances that tell folk stories that are accompanied by the gwo ka drums.
Rural Guadeloupans still use gwo ka drums in communal experiences called lewozes; this is the most traditional manifestation of gwo ka in modern Guadeloupe. Gwo ka is also played at Carnival and other celebrations. A modernized and popularized form of gwo ka is well-known on the islands; it is known as gwo ka moderne. (source Wikipedia).
The following video was shot next to "La place du Marche St Antoine" in Pointe-a-pitre on Dec 19th, 2009.
Francois Ladrezeau, one of Guadeloupe's most renowned player from the Mass Group Akiyo is playing in this video (with the yellow shirt).