KASSAV in concert (AFP/Getty Images) © Copyright
General News 1 September 2005 – Monte

Kassav, inspiring the world to dance – World Athletics Gala

MonteCarloOn the evening of Saturday 10 September, the prestigious annual World Athletics Gala will be hosted at the Hotel Fairmont, Monte-Carlo by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack.

Along with the annual awards ceremony for the Male and Female World Athletes of the Year, with the names of the winners being announced live on stage during the evening, the musical event will be a performance by ‘Kassav’, a Francophone Zouk band which was formed in the 1970s.

The core members of the band today are Jocelyne Beroard, Jacob Desvarieux, Jean-Philippe Marthely, Patrick St. Eloi, and Jean-Claude Naimro, with several other musicians in support. The total number of albums cut by the band and its members is approximately 30.
Kassav was formed in 1979 by Pierre-Edouard Décimus, a long-time professional musician who worked with Freddy Marshall. Together, the two of them decided to take carnival music and make it a more modern and polished style. It was the leading band to emerge from the formative years of Zouk. They gave the style a pan-Caribbean sound by taking elements from reggae and salsa, and became one of the most famous bands in the world. Their first album, Love and Ka Dance (1980), established the sound of zouk. They continued to grow more popular, both as a group and with several members' solo careers, finally peaking in 1985 with Yélélé, which featured the international hit "Zouk la sé sèl médickaman nou ni".
With this hit, zouk rapidly became the most widespread dance craze to hit Latin America in some time, and was wildly popular even as far a field as Europe and Asia. Zouk became known for wildly theatrical concerts featuring special effects spectacles, colorful costumes and outrageous antics.

Please click on the following link to go to Radio France International’s full biography of the band