Before embarking upon a professional career in music, Gino Sitson divided his time between music studies and the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he earned degrees in languages and ethnomusicology.He was gradually drawn into the multi-cultural Paris music scene, initially as a drummer, then as a singer.
Mr Sitson’s four-octave voice plus his skills as a composer and arranger put him in high demand for recording sessions and for commercials and radio / television jingles (Danone, Peugeot, Vahine, etc). The versatile young vocalist performed in a musical and co-composed part of the music (Jeanne et le Garçon Formidable). He has laid down tracks or shared the stage with Manu Dibango, Ron Carter, Papa Wemba, Wally Badarou, Geri Allen, David Gilmore, Ray Lema, Craig Harris, James Hurt, Antoine Roney, Jorge Ben, John William, Mario Canonge, Wallace Roney, Brice Wassy, Oliver N’Goma, Exile One, Steve Potts, So Why? (featuring Youssou N’Dour, Papa Wemba, Wally Badarou, Jabu Khanyile & Bayete, Lourdes Van-Dunem, and Lucky Dube), La Compagnie Créole, among others.
After the release of his first album, Vocal Deliria, which was acclaimed by the press, Gino toured in France and abroad with his Vocal-Afro-Jazz group. He performed at a number of jazz clubs and fests in Italy (Palermo di Scena, Musica Dei Popoli…), Switzerland (Open PROMO…), Germany (Quasimodo / Berlin, Popkomm /Köln, Gostenhofer Jazztage…), sometimes opening for stars like Brazilian singer João Bosco (Lecco / Italy). He also became a regular at top Parisian venues like New Morning, Petit Journal Montparnasse, Duc des Lombards, Sunset...
In 2000, Gino fell in love with New York City and decided to settle there. Since his arrival in the USA, he has been attracting sell-out audiences at top clubs and great venues (Carnegie Hall, Blue Note, Jazz Bakery, Zinc Bar, Joe’s Pub, SOB’s, Sweet Rhythm, Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, Blues Alley Jazz Club, Lincoln Center, Schomburg Center, Aaron Davis Hall, Snug Harbor Cultural Center), museums (Smithsonian, Museum for African Art, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum for African Art …), and festivals (a standing ovation at the influential SxSW expo in Austin, TX; JVC Jazz Festival ; opening for Roberta Flack at the Long Island Jazz Festival…). He played before a delighted Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other dignitaries at New York’s Gracie Mansion at the kick-off to the city’s Immigrant Week celebrations.
Sitson’s second album, Song Zin’ (I Want To Tell You), was released in April 2002 to rapturous worldwide acclaim. It was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a “Top Ten Jazz CD of 2002” and nominated for a Kora award (Africa’s equivalent of a Grammy).
His latest release (recorded in New York City), Bamisphere, features Ron Carter (double bass), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums), Essiet Essiet (double bass), and Helio Alves (piano). It is an adventurous soundscape comprised of a dozen all-new tunes in which ancient memories and fresh aspirations join forces and are transformed into expressions of joy, loss and one-world philosophy.
Sitson is part of the ongoing “Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series” and leads professional and amateur vocal workshops for adults and children. He is a member of Chamber Music America. He is regularly engaged for movie scores and commercials. He made several TV appearances and has composed music for the noted children’s TV show, Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon).
Meanwhile, Gino’s international career continues apace. He has received nominations from the WMCE (World Music Chart Europe) and the RFI Awards. His recent output includes soundtracks to Betrayal (Kevin Ngooh) and Blue Lotus (Dayo Ayodele); jingles for France Television and France 3; producing an album for Cilou, a French singer; an ongoing collaboration with his German-based brother, vocalist-composer-percussionist-actor Louis Sitson (http://www.louis-sitson.com/); and a remarkably successful 2004 performance at Jazz a Vienne (France), one of Europe’s biggest festivals.
Gino Sitson is the only vocalist who is incorporating African polyphonic techniques into the improvisational jazz vocalese tradition. Through his vocal wizardry and 4 octaves, he stunningly creates an endless range of sounds. Sitson's daring musical project combines with maturity jazz, gospel, blues and traditional African rhythms and melodies in a most innovative way. His lyrics are mostly sung in Medumba, one of the numerous languages of Cameroon.
Sitson is a pioneer of a new generation of multi-culturally influenced African musicians who are integrating into their musical styles their own exciting yet bewildering welter of "in-between" living experiences (north/south, tradition/modernity, 20th/21st century).
By freely combining his trademark vocal acrobatics with astonishingly creative body percussions and miscellaneous effects, Mr. Sitson forged an eloquent vocabulary capable of communicating far beyond any limits of language or custom. Experiencing the body and the voice as an endless musical resource: that's what Gino wants to share.
Mr. Sitson has come to exemplify a kind of life where loved ones are spread out among the continents. For this musical nomad, home will always be more about people than places and authenticity is as much about where he is going as where he’s been.
Hear the beautiful new tune "Lucia" Gino Sitson performed in duo with Helio Alves at LP Studios/ Congahead written for his lovely daughter.
.Gino Sitson on "Canape"/ CUNY TV
• Bi Nyaï
Song Zin'… (Polyvocal Records)
Vocal Deliria (Absynthe Productions)
Source : http://www.ginositson.com