Pianist, composer and vocalist Meddy Gerville has been likened to a fresh summer breeze in a music world of rare exceptions. He has been electrifying audiences the world over with his intricate and compelling synthesis of jazz and maloya, indigenous music of his native Reunion Island, since 1997. Born in St. Pierre — the largest city in southern Reunion Island — Meddy’s diverse projects have seen him regularly tour Europe, Africa and the U.S.A. working with world-class musicians such as Sixun bass player Michel Alibo, Dominique Di Piazza, percussion legend Giovanni Hidalgo, Cuban drummer Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez, Matthew Garrison and World Music icon Danyel Waro, to name but a few.
Meddy’s music is characterized by the explosive rhythms of his native island played on various homegrown instruments including ‘rouler,’ ‘kayanm’and ‘ravan’ drums, much of which help account for his astonishing originality. His voice has often been compared to Milton Nascimento and Al Jarreau, however these comparisons fail to capture the unique timbre and rhythmic intensity of his soulful and nuanced vocal approach.
Meddy’s new album “Tropical Rain” will be his eighth album and features a star studded line up including Randy Brecker: Trumpet, Giovanni Hidalgo: Percussion, Lionel Loueke: Guitar and Michel Alibo: Bass. “Tropical Storm” features thirteen orignal compositions ranging from the romantic ballad “Carmile” (written for Meddy’s daughter) to “Si zer gran martin”, a unique fusion of Jazz and Maloya, characterized by rhythms of his native Reunion Island.
‘Artist’ is a word that is bandied about rather cavalierly these days, but in the world of music there are few as truly deserving of this title as Meddy Gerville.