Godwin Louis has been on a quest to trace the roots of jazz.
In the last couple of years, the saxophonist has traveled to over 100 countries in study of the African musical diaspora. His findings inspired Global, a far-sweeping and personal debut album, which could also be seen as a manifesto. Louis believes we are all more connected throughout the Americas than we may realize.
On this edition of The Checkout Live at Berklee, Louis and his all-star sextet take us on a journey first to New Orleans’ Congo Square and then to other early musical hotbeds: Bahia in Brazil, Santiago in Cuba, and Port-Au-Prince in Haiti, where his parents were born.
Louis asserts that the rhythmic DNA of jazz has origins in Benin, West Africa by way of his ancestral homeland, where he spearheads Experience Ayiti, a nonprofit committed to empowering Haitians through cross-cultural exchange.
Watch Godwin Louis’ album celebration of Global in The Red Room at Cafe 939, featuring Billy Buss on trumpet, Gilad Hekselman on guitar, Victor Gould on piano, Hogyu Hwang on bass and Obed Calvaire on drums.
Godwin Louis performs at the Jazz Gallery Saturday, May 18th.