A Haitian native from the small town of Port -au-Prince, Monvelyno Alexis began playing the Guitar at the age of 18. Born into a Christian family, Gospel music was his first musical experience. As a young boy, Monvelyno’s instruments included the Flute, Clarinet, and the Trumpet. However, his passion for the Guitar was supreme. By his early twenties, Monvelyno had matured into an experienced Guitar player and began playing with several gospel groups and experimenting with different genres such as Roots, Rock, R&B, Reggae, Fusion and Jazz. A year later, he was fortunate to meet and begin playing with Thurgot Theodat, one of Haiti’s most famous Jazz musicians who was working to fuse Jazz and Voodoo rhythms. This propelled Monvelyno into a deep ethnography of Voodoo music. Over the next three to four years, he visited traditional temples, as Lakou Souvenans, Lakou Badjo, Lakou soukri, and interviewed high priest and priestesses of Voodoo, and learned many of their ritual spiritual songs. Around the same time Monvelyno was also a painter, started by himself and found some help later from a few friends as, Pierre Austin, Richard Barbot, Mirand Marck Richard, and so on. Since then he is working every day as a professional of both Music and Paintings to get to the journey where he can express himself to translate his dream to the world. At the age of 27, after five years working with Thurgot and with the help of Richard Morse, Monvelyno started his own band featuring Jazz and Voodoo called K-fou La Croix (Crossroads). Meanwhile, he was also employed as Maestro of various different bands such as Chandel and Taino, Karess konpa, and performing with a spectrum of bands (e.g. RAM, Indigenous and B12, Mission, and Atists, as Samba Zao, Jean Raimond Giglio, Prince Guetchens, Raoul Dennis Junior, Jimmy Jn felix, Fabrice Rouzier, Pierre Rigaud Cherry, Eddy bourjolly and so on ). After many performances around the globe at various cultural festivals, Monvelyno permanently moved to America and settled in New York City. He was recently the music director of Manzè Dayila and the Nago Nation band , produced by Jamie Propp,and the group Parole. Although he continues to collaborate with different artists and perform with different bands, Monvelyno is working to produce Dlo, a Haitian Transcendent Jazz band. The project features Bass player and sound technician: Chico Broyer, Percussionist and Conga player: Sergo Decius, Classical Jazz Flutist: Fritz Placide, and himself on Guitar. These days Monvelyno is working on his musical project, in the mean time working with Robert Cenatus ( Bono ), and can be regularly seen in all sorts of musical style Jazz, konpa, roots, vodoo around New York City.
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I checked out your page in the Jazz Network. Nice playing! When you get a moment please check out my free guitar lesson page at: http://www.bluesandjazzguitar.blogspot.com/ pass it on to friends, students and anyone who likes jazz guitar. I’m trying to promote jazz and blues guitar.
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."