Buyu Ambroise was born in Haiti. After a brief stay in the Republic of Congo as a child, Buyu has been residing in the United States for over 35 years. Buyu was drawn to the saxophone at a young age, experimenting with the instrument as a high school student in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s, 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.
Despite a long absence from his homeland, Buyu’s roots in Haitian culture remain strong. In his debut & sophomore albums Blues in Red (released in June 2004) & Marasa (released in December 2006), Buyu draws from the folkloric repertoire of Haitian music. Buyu could not resist the calling of infusing the similar African roots of both Haitian music and American Jazz into these story-telling melodies. Buyu has created a fruitful combination of traditional Afro-Haitian beats with the smooth improvisational grooves of enticing bass lines, melodic brass solos & piano explorations in styles that take after those of American Jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. Coming from a Jazz perspective, Buyu has revealed a natural relationship between the complex polyrhythmic structures in both the North American form and the Afro-Caribbean sound of traditional Haitian music. This fusion is the birth of a new musical style that encompasses the two and sustains the mix effortlessly.
“The Haitian-born jazz saxophonist Alix “Buyu” Ambroise has made a remarkable record connecting jazz with the music of his home country. Mr. Ambroise has a strong swaggering sound on the tenor saxophone.” — Ben Ratliff, New York Times
“Ambroise’s soulful saxophone […] replaces the chant of traditional music. Through his instrument, he “chants” with deep, religious feeling. Trombone, piano and bass—in turn—improvise with sensuality. The timbral combination of tenor saxophone and trombone works every time out. Here, they’re enhanced considerably by a vast array of Latin percussion and the band’s rolling waves of sound.” — Jim Santella of AllAboutJazz.com