Each step in Meddy Gerville's musical journey has led him towards his unique fusion of jazz with the rhythms of his native island and explains his tremendous originality.
Meddy was born in St Pierre, the largest city in southern Reunion Island, home of the rainbow population.
They are called rainbow people because they represent the most diverse ethnic makeup of any place on earth, descending from Europe, India, China, Africa and Madagascar.
Right from the beginning of his career, Meddy has played with the most popular bands from Reunion: Baster, Ti Fock Sabouk and performed all over Europe, Africa and the USA.
In 1997, his first solo album is released "Réunion Island" playing in a trio format alongside some prestigious guests: Louis Winsberg (Sixun), Nicolas Folmer (ONJ), Philippe Sellam (No Jazz). At the time, his band was made up of Max Dalleau on drums and David Félix on bass and double-bass.
The year 2000 saw the release of a second album "Jazz'Oya", driven by the same drummer and Lalah Rakotorahalahy on bass, with other guests both from France and Réunion: Olivier Louvel (Inlandsis, Orchestre National de Barbès), Stéphane Guillaume (Didier Lockwood, Stéphane Huchard, ONJ), Linley Marthe (the Mauritian bass prodigy "discovered" by François Jeanneau and today's most in demand session bass player in Paris), Laurent Dalleau, Didier Dijoux, Miguy Pétrel, Fabrice Legros, Daniel Riesser, Subbash Dhunoohchand.
The album title perfectly illustrates his artistic quest of a fusion between jazz, its sophisticated harmonies, creative freedom and the swing and complex rhythms of maloya, the "blues made in Reunion."
In 2004 David Félix is back on the bass and Meddy decides to invite Nicolas Moucazambo on percussions to join him and a third album is out "Sobat' ek lamour". Once again, we find the usual guests who have now become friends: Nicolas Folmer, Stéphane Guillaume, Daniel Zimmermann, Olivier Louvel, Louis Winsberg and Fabrice Legros.
In 2005 Meddy creates two new bands. The first one remains devoted to jazz and maloya jazz, the second one is dedicated more to the fans of "world music" (traditional maloya and séga songs) Meddy met great bass player Dominique Di-Piazza (John Mc Laughlin Trio, Bireli Lagrène, Dennis Chambers…) and they started to work on a new project.
With the participation of the O.D.C (Office Départemental de la Culture) some other prestigious musicians were invited such as Grammy Award winner, drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez (Michel Camilo, McCoy Tyner, Carlos Santana, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Eddie Palmieri) "El Negro" is without any doubt one of the best drummers of his generation and guitar player Jean-Marie Ecay (Didier Lockwood, Claude Nougaro, Richard Galiano, Billy Cobham, Eddy Gomez). The quartet performed on Réunion Island and on some surrounding islands. The musical adventure is successful and upon "El Negro's" suggestion, they all decided to record on Meddy's new album: "Jazz Amwin" released on Reunion in March 2006.
Contrary to the first one, the second band is made up of home musicians who recorded with popular local bands. The aim for Meddy was to go back to something he particularly enjoys which is singing. A séga, maloya album: "Ti pa ti pa n'alé" with Danyel Waro as a guest artist was also released (March 2006)
Other great collaboration include: Live in NYC with Matthew Garrison on bass (Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny) and "El Negro" during the St Gilles International Jazz Festival (October 2006). Paris Jazz Big Band (Nicolas Folmer, Pierre Bertrand, André Cécarelli, Stéphane Guillaume ...) Le Trabendo in June 2007. Bassist Michel Alibo (Salif Keita...) Tetsuro Kawashima (Sax) and many more.
We are in June 2008, and Meddy has just released his new album: "Fo kronm la vi" featuring Michel Alibo on bass.