Welcoming Haitian percussion superstar Jeff Pierre to our studio on beautiful Vancouver Island last Friday was such a pleasure. His up beat attitude and passion for his practice made it easy for conversations to flow.
Jeff grew up learning traditional Haitian drumming from his mother Florencia. He started touring and playing music all over Haiti, beginning his life of performance, study, and travel with “Institut de danse JAKA” at the early age of three! By the time Jeff was 8 years old he was teaching workshops during the summers to his peers. Rounding out his early years, Jeff was equipped to offer masters classes at ten! It’s safe to say Jeff was an early bloomer.
Jeff left Haiti to further his education in California. He recently graduated from the San Fransisco School of the Arts with a degree in Instrumental Music. Of course that’s not where any musicians education ends. Musicians have a tendency to continue learning through immersion. Of course, Jeff is no exception! He is now the lead drummer for the the AFOUTAYI dance company in San Francisco. Through his work with AFOUTAYI Jeff is constantly learning from, and teaching the people around him.
Haitian Sensation has nice ring to it, but that truly is what Jeff is, sensational. He is a master of many unique drums from Haiti and described the unique uses for these instruments. His ability to not only demonstrate, but articulate key Haitian rhythms was fantastic. He easily, and clearly explained the relationship of traditional drumming and dance to the spirituality his country is well-known for. We were grateful to have eye-opening conversations about the Lwa, Voudou, and other prominent Haitian traditions.
Jeff was the perfect choice for our final interview in August, we couldn’t be happier to have had him join us at K-Train Music Studios! Thanks to all of you for joining us here every Thursday! See you again next week!