|Table of contents|
2 Chouval bwa
3 Gwo ka
Chouval bwa features percussion, bamboo flute, accordion and wax-paper/comb-type kazoo. The music originated among rural Martinicans. Since its development, chouval bwa has diversifed into genres like zouk chouv, which includes electric instrumentation and has been popularized by Claude Germany, Tumpak, Dede Saint-Prix and Pakatak.
Gwo ka is a family of hand drums used to create a form of folk music from Guadeloupe. There are seven basic rhythms in gwo ka, and multiple variations on each. Different sizes of drums establish the foundation and its flourishes. Rural Guadeloupans still use gwo ka drums in communal experiences called lewozes, while a more modernized version called gwo ka moderne add new instruments ranging from djembe drums to electric bass guitar. Gwo ka moderne artists include Pakala Percussion and Pukoutan'n, alongside more pop-influenced musicians like Marcel Magnat and Ti Celeste, while Gerard Hubert and others have fused gwo ka with zouk.
Gwo ka is often accompanied it by another type of percussion instrument called twi ba as well as vocal elements.
In the 1970s, a wave of Haitian immigrants to Martinique brought with them the kadans, a sophisticated form of music that quickly swept the island and helped united all the former French colonies of the Caribbean by combining their cultural influences. These Haitians drew upon previous success from mini-jazz artists like Les Gentlemen, Les Leopards and Les Vikings de Guadeloupe.
Kadans dominated Martinican music until the mid-1980s, when zouk appeared as a combination of Indian, European, African and Americann musics. The band Kassav remain perhaps the best known zouk group. Kassav drew in influences from balakadri and bal granmoun dances, biguines and mazurkas, along with more contemporary Caribbean influences like reggae and salsa music. Zouk live shows soon began to draw on American and European rock and heavy metal traditions, and the genre spread across the world, primarily in developing countries.