Jowee Omicil – Roots & grooves
Saxophone and winds master Jowee Omicil is in possession of what is simply one of the most soothing, soulful and spiritual sounds that his instruments of choice have ever rendered. Following several fruitful semesters of teaching students on all levels – from grade school to university – Jowee is focusing on getting out and performing the music of his amazing sophomore CD, Roots & Grooves, for the people he loves…which means everybody!
The Montreal-born musician of Haitian descent had the distinct honor of being invited to perform for the White House’s inaugural observation of Haitian Flag Day on May 18, sharing the enveloping sound of his alto and soprano saxophones and clarinet for 150 VIP guests. The son of a father who was both a minister and professor of philosophy, Jowee (pronounced like “Joey”) believes his calling to music has a higher purpose.
“There’s a song on my CD titled ‘For My People’ that I wrote for the flood victims in Haiti,” he shares. “I have since rededicated it also to the earthquake victims. That melody is what I wanted them to hear. Haitians are of African origin and Africa is the mother of civilization. Therefore, ultimately, the song is for the world… which pretty much describes all of my music. It’s simple and spiritual… precisely what I want them to feel for the journey I am taking them on. I believe firmly in music as therapy.“
The spellbinding musical journey of Roots & Grooves incorporates musicians and technicians spanning four continents – from Africa and Haiti to Madagascar and Japan to Cuba and back to the United States. The music features Jowee’s literal “voice” singing his lilting chants and hooks, as well as his “voice” on woodwinds, an assured and righteously pure tone destined to make believers of listeners `round the globe. Equally inspired by the folk melodies of his culture, the freedom of jazz, the reverence of gospel and all manner of soul-replenishing groove, Jowee stirs it all together into an irresistible brew.
“My father Joseph was adamant about me taking up a wind instrument,” Jowee shares. “He already had a pianist in his church and it was always his dream to have a symphony of his own. In the Bible, David was a trumpet player. In my music, I am always searching for ways to honor my father – a black man in a not-always-supportive Canada who raised five children on his own while working and studying to become a respected professor and mentor. So I firmly believe that the saxophone became my instrument to minister to the world… and I do not take that mission lightly.“