Kassav is a Francophone zouk band which was formed in 1979 in Paris. The core members of the band are Jocelyne Béroard, Jacob Desvarieux, Jean-Philippe Marthély, Patrick St. Eloi, Jean-Claude Naimro, Claude Vamur and Georges Décimus (who left the band to create another band, Volte Face, before returning to Kassav’ later) along with several other impermanent members. The total number of albums by Kassav’ plus the many solo albums by its permanent and impermanent members is more than 30. Kassav’ was formed in 1979 by Pierre-Edouard Décimus (a long-time professional musician who had worked with Freddy Marshall) and Paris studio musician Jacob F. Desvarieux. Together, the two of them decided to make Guadeloupian carnival music and record it in a more fully-orchestrated yet modern and polished style (as electronics had begun to infiltrate recorded popular music in that decade). In the 1980s they would take Caribbean music to another level by recording in the newly-developed purely digital format available in Paris at the time. Kassav’ was the leading band to emerge from the formative years of Zouk; most authors credit Décimus (and his brother Georges, the band’s phenomenal bassist) and Desvarieux as its inventors. They gave the style a pan-Caribbean sound by taking elements from Haitian kompa, Dominica Cadence-lypso, Dominican merengue, Nuevo Rican salsa, Trinidadian calypso,Republic of Cameroon’s music Makossa (as a result of working in studio with many musicians) and the result became world-famous.
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