Jephte Guillaume

The Lower East Side Pipes
Sacred Rhythm Music


Jephté Guillaume

Jephté's solo career was launched in 1994, with the release of his first hit single "One Respe". His next hit single, "The Prayer (Priye- a)", found its way into DJ rotations around the world, emerging from New York clubs like Body & Soul, "Little" Louie Vega's Dance Ritual, The Shelter and Brooklyn's Bang the Party as an instant underground success. This success was cemented with a stunning performance by Jephte Guillaume and the Tet Kale Orkestra at Body & Soul's Central Park Summerstage celebration in the summer of 1999. His critically acclaimed self-produced debut album "Voyage of Dreams" was released to universal praise and astonishment in 1998, following the international success of several 12" singles for Spiritual Life Music, which helped to establish the label as a global musical force to be reckoned with. And his work has already appeared on a host of compilations on labels such as Nuphonic, Island/Hannibal, React, JVC Japan, Wave (Body and Soul compilation Volume 1 & 2), Sony/Rhythmix France (Trip do Brasil I & II) , Avex, Polygram/Motor, Chrysalis France, Life Line Japan and Flower Japan.

The many releases of Jephte (including "Love Light" and "Rhythm of the Rain") are filled with substantial themes of struggle and liberation, but driven by the elements that make us dance: drums loaded tracks, and lots of live bass. Enticing keyboard melodies, seamless flute riffs, supernatural vocals, and the occasional flamenco-like guitar seem to emerge naturally from his festive rhythms. The result is a new sound - one that integrates a revolutionary Haitian spirit with an electronic groove for the technologically astute.

Jephte has spent the last few years on the club circuit, making his mark on the deep house movement. A sought-after bassist and multi-instrumentalist who has played with a wide range of major artists, from the Soul Legend, Billy Preston, to R&B (Destiny's Child, Groove Theory) to nu-soul (Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige) to Hip-Hop ( Refugee All-Stars Band, Slick Rick) to Acid Jazz (Abstract Truth), to Pop (98 degrees, No Mercy & Sting) to Haitian Raggamuffin (Papa Jube) to French Reggae (Tonton David) to French Hip-Hop Reggae ( Real Kila) and Gospel artist, Reverend Timothy Wright, The Daughtry Singers of the House of the Lord from Brooklyn) he is obviously serious when he says, "Wherever there is great music, I am there."

Born in Haiti, but uprooted to Brooklyn with his family during the Duvalier regime, Jephte Guillaume is a unique addition to the trajectory of Haitian musicians such as Boukman Eksperyans, whose music transforms Vodun spirituality and African ancestry into something universally understood. "Everywhere I go, people ask me about the spirituality in my music - they may not know Kreyol, but they sing along." True to his roots, Jephte's lyrics come from Haitian folk and devotional chants, offering praise to the ancestors and calling for the listeners to get up and connect to their spiritual homes. Like Nigeria's Fela Kuti, and Cameroon's Manu Dibango, Jephte Guillaume builds a bridge between American Soul, Jazz, and music traditions that come directly from the Haitian experience. "The Haitian drums are everywhere, just like the Spirits themselves," he says. It is these Spirits who pervade the Tet Kale sound. The infectious mixture of diverse elements in Jephte Guillaume's music comes as no surprise, when one looks at his eclectic career. He is known within the Haitian community as a former founding member of the renowned roots-rock band Rara Machine, which toured worldwide. While in the U.S., he has developed a committed international dance audience, releasing his own vibrant recordings as well as producing successful remixes for a diverse collection of artists, including Amel Larrieux , Clara Moreno, Pushim, Toni Braxton, WildMagnolias, Tokyo SkaParadise Orchestra,Calyn and Glen Scott.

Jephte Guillaume, NYC based DJ/Producer, has garnered mass appeal from his dance-floor audiences. Bringing the same grace and precision to handling the decks, as he does in the recording studio, he is well-established for his rich sets where he mixes Soulful Dance and Spiritual House grooves with traditional Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian and Brazilian rhythms. Known as the creator of 'Vodou House' for some of his well-loved hits (such as: "The Prayer (Priye- a)," "Ibo Le Le," "Lakou-a," "Al Di Yo," just to name a few hits from his double-CD "Voyage of Dreams") he is firmly established as an international DJ/Producer/Remixer. Jephte scored a subtantial portion of the soundtrack and is being featured on the film documentary Maestro...the most realistic and in-depth motion picture ever made on dance culture.
Having spent the last few years in the studio in full-time production, he has stolen time to spin in numerous venue around the world.

Jephté Guillaume's Tet Kale Records website: