Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Alix Buyu Ambroise was born in Haiti in 1953. After a brief stay in the Republic of Congo where his father was employed as a professor for two years, he moved to the United States and has been living there for the last 35 years. Alix was drawn to the saxophone at a young age, experimenting with the instrument as early as age sixteen as a high school student in Brooklyn, New York, during the early 70’s, a fertile period for both Haitian music and American jazz.
His passion for jazz music led him to study with jazz legends such as Frank Foster, Jimmy Owens, and John Lewis. Alix performed in New York City with various small groups over the past 20 years, playing usually Haitian konpa music or jazz. He’s worked with many notable Haitian groups in the New York metropolitan area. He recorded with Ayizan, a landmark avant-garde rara ensemble. He also led the band Freefall which included world renowned Latin percussionist Bobby Sanabria (currently leader of the group Asuncion and formerly the drummer in Mario Bauza’s big band). Freefall also featured the talents of eclectic jazz percussionist Mino Cinelu (formerly with Miles Davis, Sting, and Weather Report). Alix also worked in the Project Liberty Jazz Ensemble with drummer Ben Dixon.
Despite a long absence from his homeland, Buyu’s roots in Haitian culture remain strong. Coming from a jazz perspective, Alix realized a natural relationship between the complex polyrhythmic structures in both the North American form and the Afro-Latin Caribbean sound of traditional Haitian music and created a new musical style that encompasses the two and sustains the mix effortlessly. Alix’s melodies are inspired from the rich repertoire of African music sustained with modern jazz harmony.