The song that was submitted for the Valentine’s Day contest was re-titled “Bossa Valentine” by the jury, because of its soft bossa nova beat, and the use of elaborate progressions. Gifrants 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, like 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 with an excellent songwriting ability, combined with a funky and jazzy arrangement style of the horn section, has brought Vèvè, his former musical group to a much more competitive edge on the World Music scene. He released “Twoubadou Sèk” in 2001 and brought Creole Jazz at its best level ever.
“Vwa e Gita, Volim I” was published in 2003 and revealed the naked soul of a true troubadour. 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 - its African roots, European birthmark and American influence. "I was born in Cap-Haitian on the 10th of January 1957. My mother tells me that by the time I was three years of age I was asking for a guitar.
It was not a welcomed request because as you may well know Haitian society looks at the musician’s calling as if it were a curse because there was no living to be made from playing music. Additionally, the stereotypes about musicians being uneducated and of little value were not categorizations my parents wanted for me. "At 13 years of age a cousin of mine who was an evangelical came to visit my parent’s home for summer vacation and brought a guitar with him. He demonstrated a variety of major and minor chords. He eventually taught me my first song “Les portes du Pénitencier”.
I spent that entire summer learning how to play the chords on a cheap Island guitar, and my hand was eventually swollen from the task. I spent sixteen hours a day on the guitar and forgot about eating and taking care of myself. I left all of that up to my mother. The guitar became an obsession for me." More information can be found at his offical website, www.gifrants.com.
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