Vintage Music Home

NEMOURS JEAN-BAPTISTE

Biographie

Nemours Jean-Baptiste (February 2, 1918 – May 18, 1985) was a Haitian saxophonist, writer, and band leader. He is credited with being the inventor of compas also known as compas direct in French, or konpa dirèk in Creole or simply konpa; a style of Haitian music.

During Jean-Baptiste’s early career, he played in a band with fellow Haitian artist Webert Sicot called Conjunto International. Years after the band dissolved, Webert Sicot introduced a new dance rhythm that bore many similarities to Jean-Baptiste’s compas.

During the period of argument and controversy that followed, the two took lyrical jabs at each other in their songs. The competition between the two culminated in a soccer match between the two artists and their respective bands, which ended in a 1-1 tie