jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

March 9, 2009

New York Jazz Vocalist Gino Sitson in Calgary

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz concerts, Canada

Gino Sitson


Gino Sitson 4
with Gino Sitson (vocal, body percussion)
Klaus Mueller (piano), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Willard Dyson (drums)
Friday, March 13 at 7:00 pm
Centre for Positive Living
103 – 17th Ave SE

Sitson Described as the “African Bobby McFerrin”

Vocal tour de force Gino Sitson is often referred to as the “African Bobby McFerrin,” the award-winning artist’s four-octave vocal range and skills as composer/ arranger blending traditional elements from Africa with the urban swing of New York, his message one of peace, tolerance, love and freedom.

Gino creates an endless range of melody and sound with his impressive voice and by using his body as percussion instrument for a mélange of jazz, gospel, blues and traditional African rhythms. The multi-lingual artist often sings in Medumba, one of the numerous Bamileke languages of Cameroon, which has been described as “be-bop with a French accent.”

Born into a musical family from the Bamileke region of Cameroon, Central Africa, Gino comes from a long line of musicians known as Ntontas, or “Players of the Horns.” His mother, who is a choir director and vocalist, also heavily influenced the young musician.

Attending school in Paris, Gino divided his time between Sorbonne University, where he studied music, and Paris 8 University, where he studied languages and ethnomusicology. He was also active on the multi-cultural Paris music scene, first as a drummer, then as a singer.

Relocating to New York City in 2000, Gino was warmly received and soon began performing for sell-out audiences at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre as well as major clubs such as Blue Note and the Jazz Bakery. He boasts a long list of performance/recording credits with leading jazz artists such as Ron Carter, John Scofield, Geri Allen, Bobby McFerrin and Roy Ayers among the many, as well as with African and world music greats Youssou NDour, Papa Wemba and Lucky Dube, to name a few.

Gino released his debut album, Vocal Deliria in 2005, garnering critical acclaim. Following up with Song Zin’ (I Want To Tell You) (2002), the album was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a “Top Ten Jazz CD” and nominated for a Kora award (Africa’s equivalent of a Grammy). His latest release, Bamisphere (2005), was recorded in NYC and features Ron Carter (double bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums), Essiet Essiet (double bass), and Helio Alves (piano).

In addition to his busy performance career, Gino frequently appears on television and was recently invited by jazz vocal legend Bobby McFerrin to join him for the PBS documentary, “THE MUSIC INSTINCT: SCIENCE & SONG”. Gino’s voice is heard on numerous television/radio jingles for Danone, Peugeot, Vahine, and he’s composed music for the noted children’s TV show, Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon).

Recent projects include soundtracks to major films, ‘Betrayal’ (Kevin Ngooh) and ‘Blue Lotus’ (Dayo Ayodele); jingles for France Television and France 3; producing an album for French jazz vocalist Cilou; participating in the ongoing Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series; leading professional and amateur vocal workshops for adults and children; and his ongoing collaboration with brother Njamy Sitson, a Germany based musician, composer and actor.

The Centre for Positive Living offers a warm environment with beautiful acoustics and a 9′ Bosendorfer piano.

Gino Sitson is presented by Alliance Francaise of Calgary and Jazz Elements.

TICKETS are $25
purchase online here or at Heritage Posters (1502-11th Ave. SW )

to listen to Gino Sitson click here

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.