Jacques Schwarz-Bart

Musical Artist

1962 –


Who is Jacques Schwarz-Bart?

Jacques Schwarz-Bart is a New York based jazz saxophonist. His mother is the Guadeloupean novelist Simone Schwarz-Bart, author of The Bridge of Beyond. His father was French-Jewish author André Schwarz-Bart. The two published a joint novel, Un plat de porc aux bananes vertes, in 1967. The family traveled widely, living in Senegal, Switzerland, and Goyave, Guadeloupe. Jacques Schwarz-Bart is dubbed "Brother Jacques" and his music has incorporated rhythm and blues as well as hip hop influences.

His musical path is atypical. At age four, he was offered a Gwo ka drum, and Anzala, showed him how to play the seven fundamental rhythms: Toumblak, Graj, Lewoz, Kalagya, Padjanbel, Mende, Woulé.

At age six, while living in Switzerland, he discovered jazz music through his best friend’s father's record collection. Fascinated, he taught himself guitar by playing along with records. By age eleven, he was sitting in with the players of the local Lausanne scene, but soon after, his family relocated to Guadeloupe. There, without a jazz scene, he concentrated on his studies, most notably at the prestigious School of Government called Sciences Po, and eventually landed a job as a Senator’s assistant in Paris. At twenty-four he appeared poised for a more conventional success, until by chance he tried a friend's tenor saxophone. He practiced between his long hours at the Senate, and three years later, he abandoned his nascent career to attend Berklee School of Music, in Boston.

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Dec 22, 1962
Les Abymes
  • France
  • Berklee College of Music

on July 23, 2013


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