Infobox Music genre
stylistic_origins=Music that became popular in the mid-80s by groups originating from the French West Indies. The music was a a mix of compas, biguine, gwo ka, bele, cadence
cultural_origins=Started in the mid-80s by groups from the French West Indies, Haiti, and is now shared with cultures from, South America: (Brazil, etc.) and Africa: (Angola, Cape Verde, Réunion, Mozambique etc.)
derivatives=Zouk-love - Kizomba - Cabo-Love
subgenrelist=list of genres of zouk
subgenres=Zouk-love - Kizomba - Cabo-Zouk
fusiongenres=compas, biguine, Gwo ka, bele, cadence
regional_scenes= French West Indies - West Africa - France - Portugal

Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It has its roots in compas music from Haiti,. "Zouk" means "party" or "festival" in the local creole of French with English influences. In Africa, it is popular in franco/luso countries, while on the African islands of Cape Verde they have developed their own type of zouk. In Europe it is particularly popular in France, and in North America the Canadian province of Quebec.


The zouk music style was invented in the early 1980s when many different styles were fused, such as compas, balakadri, the Dominica based cadence and bal granmoun dances, mazurka and biguine, French and American pop, and kadans, gwo ka and other indigenous styles. [Zouk: world music in the West Indies By Jocelyne Guilbault, Gage Averill pg 22 [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=d0lrjteCl2IC&pg=PA1&vq=zouk&dq=history+of+zouk&lr=&source=gbs_search_s&sig=ACfU3U1Op6uFsCotknbzoDGqORV_TVErSA] ]


The leading band to emerge from this period was the band Kassav' who came from Guadeloupe and Martinique, they gave the style a pan-Caribbean sound by taking elements from compas, reggae and salsa, and became the most famous band of Zouk in the world. Kassav' was formed in 1979 by Pierre-Edouard Décimus, a long-time professional musicians who worked with Freddy Marshall. Together, they decided to take carnival music and make it a more modern and polished style. Their first album, "Love and Ka Dance" (1979), the "zouk" music was born. They continued to grow more popular, both as a group and with several members' solo careers, finally peaking in 1985 with "Yélélé", which featured the international hit "Zouk la sé sèl médikaman nou ni".

With this hit, zouk rapidly became the most widespread dance craze to hit Latin American in some time,Fact|date=August 2007 and was wildly popular even as far afield as Europe and Asia.Fact|date=August 2007 Zouk became known for wildly theatrical concerts featuring special effects spectacles, colorful costumes and outrageous antics.

It is interesting to note that in Brazil, popular belief is that zouk music originates from French Polynesia.

Other zouk musicians include Jocelyne Labylle from Guadeloupe.


A special style within the zouk is called "zouk-love", where the music is slower and more dramatic. Zouk-love has its origins in a slow tempo form of cadence sang by Ophelia Marie of Dominica. The music "kizomba" from Angola and Cola-zouk from Cape Verde are also a derivatives of zouk which sounds similar, although there are differences noticeable to those more familiar with these genres.

Popular zouk-love artists include French West Indian artists like Patrick Saint-Eloi the precursor of zouk love, Edith Lefel, Nichols, Harry Diboula or Haitian artists like Ayenn, Alan Cavé, and Daan Junior. Netherlands based Suzanna Lubrano and Gil Semedo, as well as African artist Philipe Monteiro.


Soulzouk was created in 2005 by China a teacher from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Soulzouk, or zouk "freestyle" is a new way of dancing zouk that is from Brazil. More contemporary, it differs from traditional Brazilian Zouk by a new way to connect with the music. This way of dancing is not based only on the pace, but on the melody of the song, which means it can, not only be danced with zouk music but also with a variety of musical genres like rap or R 'n'B. The gentlemen leads not only his hands and arms, but also with his legs, shoulders and head. Also, the Soulzouk brings great movement inovations with the twist steps, “table” cambrés and many others already well known such as the “suicide” and “body jump”.

Zouk dancing

There are four ways to dance to zouk musicFact|date=April 2008:
#Zouk Love
##French Caribbean way (Antilles/Haiti).
##French-speaking Africa way.
#Zouk-Lambada style. The Lambada dance (or an evolved version of Lambada) danced to Zouk rhythm music.
##Brazilian zouk. A dance style evolved from Lambada and danced to Zouk rhythm music.
##Lambazouk or Lambada. Lambada dance style (or a variation of it) danced to Zouk music.
#Angolan Kizomba, and Cape Verdean Cola-zouk dance style. The music was developed directly from zouk.

Zouk in the Caribbean

Caribbean zouk, is a dance performed in the Caribbean, most often in the islands of Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica and St. Lucia. As merengue, it is danced basically by changing the weight from one leg to the other in the music, which many teachers of dance simply call the time. The choreography is simple and little elaborated.

The dance steps of Caribbean zouk dance style differ significantly from the Brazilian zouk-lambada dance style. In Caribbean zouk two steps are performed on the music ("toom-cheek, toom-cheek, etc"), where in Brazilian zouk three steps are performed on the music ("toom-cheek-cheek, toom-cheek-cheek, etc"). This changes the dynamics of the dance.

Zouk in Brazil

In Brazil, the zouk rhythm is used to dance a Brazilian style derived from the Lambada, however, with movements more suited to the music. The Lambada is usually very fast and frantic. Unlike that, the zouk in Brazil is often slow and sensual, enabling many steps and turns.

For a desciption of several (sometimes more individual) styles in zouk, see the lemma Zouk-Lambada.

Media files of various zouk dancing styles

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW0-sSYw0tg Kizomba]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FVqswIy_3o Caribbean zouk]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSf3PlVmRWM Caribbean/Riga zouk-love style]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0BZ8tii43Y Brazilian zouk (Brasilia style)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfLyJVdG9Sg Brazilian zouk (Amsterdam style)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPFEaL2b1Pw Brazilian zouk (Rio style)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlV8c2TXB5M Brazilian zouk (Brisbane style)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r22GT6YA2nk Soulzouk (Brasilia)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPX_pN3fYU Lambazouk (Majorca/Barcelona style)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GwkODk8pOo Lambazouk (Porto Seguro style)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOIksCyJBIg Zouk-Lambada (Sao Paolo/Belo Horizonte)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-GMaBhMOqA Zouk-Lambada (London style)]

Famous zouk artists

*Edith Lefel
*Enyd' Cabarrus
*Gladys (Gla10) Cabarrus
*Philip Monteiro
*Suzanna Lubrano
*Vegetable Basket and the a la Carté Kids
*Sunshine WizardsMagic Systeme

ee also

*Music of Haiti
*Caribbean music
*Zouk (club)
*dominican music
*Music of Dominica



* [http://www.soulzouk.com/pt video, music and more]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zouk — Orígenes musicales Kompa, buiguine, gwo ka, bé lé, soukous Orígenes culturales Mediados de los 80 en las antillas francesas, Haití Popularidad …   Wikipedia Español

  • Zouk — (Зук)  стиль танцевальной ритмической музыки, пришедшей из французских островов Гваделупа и Мартиник. Она имеет корни в музыке kompa из Гаити, музыка стиля cadence из Доминиканской республики, которая стала популярной благодаря усилиям групп… …   Википедия

  • Zouk — ist sowohl ein Musikstil als auch ein Tanz. Ursprungsländer und Heimat des Zouk sind die französischsprachigen karibischen Inseln Guadeloupe und Martinique, weshalb dieser Musikstil auch häufig in Frankreich produziert und veröffentlicht wird.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • zouk — [ zuk ] n. m. • 1987; mot créole « surprise partie », d ab. musique de zouk ♦ Musique de danse très rythmée, originaire des Petites Antilles. Cette danse. Danser le zouk (ou ZOUKER , v. intr. <conjug. : 1> ). ● zouk nom masculin (mot… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Zouk —   [kreolisch, zuk], Form der populären Musik aus dem franko karibischen Raum (Guadeloupe, Martinique), die in Europa und den USA jedoch durch die Pariser Produktionen der Gruppe Kassav bekannt wurde (»Zouk la sé sèl Médikaman nou ni«, 1984), die… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • zouk — Creole French, party, from zouker engage in unrestrained social activity …   Etymology dictionary

  • zouk — s. m. 1.  [Música] Música popular com origem nas Antilhas, de ritmo acelerado. 2. Dança de pares, com origem nas Antilhas.   ‣ Etimologia: palavra francesa, do crioulo das Antilhas …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • zouk — [zo͞ok] n. [Creole Fr, party < zouker, engage in unrestrained social activity] a lively popular dance music based on African drum rhythms that originated in Guadeloupe and Martinique …   English World dictionary

  • Zouk —  Pour l’article homophone, voir Zouc. Le zouk est un genre musical et une danse de société,des départements français d Amérique (Guadeloupe et Martinique) né vers la fin des années 1970. Il a été popularisé en Europe par le groupe Kassav… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • zouk — bashi ba·zouk; zouk; …   English syllables

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