Tropique du Cancer

Invited to the Books & Music Festival 2017

Moonlight Benjamin, Haitian singer and voodoo priestess, reached France in 2002 with the aim of deepening her music knowledge. She founded group Dyaoulé Pemba, with the desire to make Haiti known through traditional songs and poetry. She currently performs in show Jazz Racines Haiti of saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart and goes on tour worldwide with a trio of musicians, letting her Creole soul sing and vibrate. Her sensual, soul, extraordinary and fervent voice takes the public on a journey to the heart of the great diversity of the Haitian creative soul. It is captivating as a voodoo ritual.
Xavier Amblard, drummer and percussionist, obtained the professional certificate of the FNEIJ, Fédération Nationale des Ecoles de Jazz at the École Music’Halle de Toulouse. He got specialized in steel drums playing with Tropique du Cancer and Mambo Bidon steel bands, of which he became artistic director in 2007. He currently plays -ka Guadeloupean music in groups Trini Bird in Orléans, Mambo Bidon, Tropique du cancer and Ô-Banaka gwo. He teaches steel pan at school, in the framework of the pedagogic project known as Orchestres à l’école.
Philippe Gal, passionate for any kinds of music, found his dimension between low sounds of double bass and high sounds of steel drums. He has been studying double bass at the Conservatory of Geneva and Lausanne, jazz at the Conservatory of Marseille, arrangement with Yvan Julien and music pedagogy with Joy Kane. In 1986, he founded one of the first French steel bands: Tropique du Cancer. He currently plays with Ravi Prasad and Catherine Vaniscotte. He played with musicians Sonny Stitt, Siegfried Kessler, Eric Barret, Christian Escoudé, Adama Dramé, Alain Brunet, and in group Steckar Tuba Pack…
In 1986, the Tropique du Cancer group created one of the first French steel bands. Since then, it performed in France and abroad with street shows that make giant robots dance on West Indian and Latin-American rhythms. Their show known as Au-delà des mers is staged by Fabrice Guérin, actor and playwright, very appreciated by young people (for his string puppets and songs). He also staged La grande évasion d’Hervé Suhubiette!