Henri Guédon

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Henri Guédon (born May 22, 1944 in Fort de France in Martinique[1] - died on February 12, 2006 in Paris, France after heart surgery) was a Martiniquan percussionist. His first band was called La Contesta and he organised it when he was 20.[1] He was awarded a Maracas d'or the first year the awards ran.[1] In 1983, Philippe Langlais invited him to compose a mix of classical and jazz with his orchestra, the resulting composition called Opéra Triangulaire.[1] He was a judo champion 1963-65.[1] Multiple albums fused Antillean rhythms with other music from around the world.[2] Guedon was instrumental in exporting the new sound of 60s and 70s Latin -guaguanco, boogaloo, salsa, descarga - to France and the rest of Europe. When Guedon began placing his percussion instruments at the front of the stage in the style of his great influence Ray Barretto, French audience members found themselves shocked and intrigued. Soon enough, greats like El Conde and Pacheco were touring France. Were it not for Henri Guedon, Europe could have conceivably taken years to move forward from mambo and cha-cha-cha.


(incomplete) [1]

  • Cosmos zouk (1972)
  • Zouk Expérience (1975)
  • Salsa Dans Le Bronx (1980)
  • Retour (1981)
  • Afro-Blue (1982)
  • 10 Ans De Musique Caraibe (1983)
  • Afro-Temple (1984)
  • Karma
  • Noel Creole
  • Olympia 80
  • Et Les Contesta
  • La Contesta
  • L'opera Triangulaire

Most Played Songs[edit]

  • El Ciuda' Noy El Campesino (Guaguanco-Jazz)
  • Vulcano (Descarga)
  • Bilongo (Guaguanco-Jazz)
  • Ritmo Moderno (guaguanco)
  • Carnaval Nou (Mozambique
  • Marcel Song (Guaguanco - Jazz)
  • Los Antillanos De Paris
  • Brujeria (Soul Sonero)
  • Negro Lucumi (Guaguanco)
  • Concierto De Mi Bongo
  • Sainte Marie (orisha Soul)
  • Machapia (bon Die Couli)
  • Faut Pas Pousser (Salsa)
  • An Ti Fi (Bomba)
  • Shiga Swing (boogaloo)
  • Guajira Contestacion
  • Brujeria (Soul Senero)
  • Shinga Swing (Boogaloo)
  • Merenguedon


(incomplete) [1]

  • De l'onomatopée créole à la percussion (with Mauricette Catillon)
  • Écoute les Antilles (Armand 1984)
  • Percussions (Alphones Le Duc 1984)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Berrian, Brenda F. (2000). Awakening spaces: French Caribbean popular song, music, and culture. University of Chicago Press. pp. 215–6. ISBN 9780226044569. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  2. ^ Guilbault, Jocelyne (1993). Zouk: world music in the West Indies. University of Chicago Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780226310411. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 

External links[edit]