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Leon​-​Gontran Damas's Jazz Poetry

by Pigments & The clarinet choir

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    Artwork by Jean Depagne. Photo cover by Nicola Lo Calzo.

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Intro 01:02
Blanchi 01:29
Le vent 03:06
Névralgie 02:34
Solde 04:36
Citez-m'en 01:01


PIGMENTS & The Clarinet Choir is an intense project of musical and poetic fusion. Led by the pianist and composer Guillaume Hazebrouck, PIGMENTS & The Clarinet Choir assemble an unusual orchestration around the charismatic presence of the slammer Nina Kibuanda. Combining a rhythm section piano, bass, beatbox to a clarinet section, the “afropean” sextet compose a creative and powerful Jazz/Slam mix dedicated to Léon-Gontran Damas's graffiti poetry.

Damas strikes us today with the intensity, the immediacy, the urge of his words. Its message, delivered in reaction to colonial oppression but also to assimilation policies, takes on a particular resonance at a time when the importance of recognizing multiple cultural affiliations and identities is more than ever to be affirmed. It has been said of the writing of Damas that it is a poetry of graffiti as its nervous, concise language is made of ruptures, iterations, shocks and rhythms. A poetic dimension close to orality which also allows friend Léopold Sédar Senghor to compare it to blues and jazz.

The PIGMENTS & THE CLARINET CHOIR project takes hold of this living, vibrant language to restore both its vehemence and infinite tenderness. With his unique writing and unique instrumentation, Guillaume Hazebrouck clashes with the freedom of jazz, the breath of hip hop, the warmth of Caribbean music (where the clarinet holds a special place). Carried by the voice and the charismatic presence of Nina Kibuanda, a sound and poetic dramaturgy emerges, all in contrasts, tense between vivacity and languor, vehemence and appeasement, power and softness.

Léon-Gontran Damas's Jazz Poetry / A Call & Response
This project begins with the meeting between the slammer-poet Nina Kibuanda and the musician Guillaume Hazebrouck, joined by four musicians. The band release, after three years of existence, its first album entitled Léon-Gontran Damas's Jazz Poetry / A Call & Response. The libretto, at the invitation of Sika Fakambi, editorial coordinator of the project, incorporates the contributions of Sinzo Aanza, Jean D’Amérique, Catherine Blondeau, Julien Delmaire, Yancouba Diémé, Eva Doumbia, Lisette Lombé, Gaël Octavia, Raharimanana, Rodney Saint-Eloi, Seynabou Sonko, Lucie Taïeb answering to Léon-Gontran Dama's texts in a sort of poetic call and response.


released June 17, 2022

Music: Guillaume Hazebrouck.
Poems by Léon-Gontran Damas, from Pigments-Névralgies (Présence Africaine, Paris, 2003).
Artistic direction : Nina Kibuanda and Guillaume Hazebrouck.
Booklet's editorial coordination "A call and response": Sika Fakambi
Recorded and mixed: Jonathan Marcoz at Peninsula Studio.
Mastered by Pierre Attyasse, february 2022.


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Yolk Records Nantes, France

Awarded as the best french jazz label in 2020, Yolk has released more than 80 CDs. The label is giving artists the control of their releases. Founded by three jazz musicians who remain its artistic directors: Alban Darche, Sébastien Boisseau and Jean-Louis Pommier, Yolk is a platform for encounters, an attractive space for internationally renowned musicians. ... more

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