"I'm a Rebel, soul Rebel!", the words of Bob Marley aptly describe the music and spirit of vocalist Florence Chitacumbi. Drawing from her Angolan & Swiss heritage, Florence is known for her collaborations and bold choices in search of generating artistic conversation and creativity. She has performed in Europe, North America, Africa & Asia with talented artists, big bands & producers, to critical and audience acclaim. Her current project, Reunión, sees her continuing her focus on collaboration with longtime musical friends and new connections, with original compositions that highlight Chitacumbi’s strong roots in African rhythms and soul-jazz.
Inspired by the depths of soulful jazz, Creole beats and Congolese rhythms, the 90’s saw Chitacumbi’s first collaborations with numerous artists in London. After her first album release in 1995 (titled Uniq), it was in Paris that that this singer found her inspiration. Here she joined a community of eclectic artists building bridges between Africa and Europe, with liaisons and the likes of Teri Moise and Julien Clerc.
Florence’s eclectic Parisian encounters inspired the recording of her acclaimed second album, 6ème Sens (2000). Buoyed on by avant-garde electronica, she initiated a hybrid collaboration with Christophe Calpini (Alain Bashung), Vulzor and Pierre Drevet (Charles Aznavour). This gave birth to a cycle of performances aptly titled 6ème Sens Revisité (6th Sense Revisited) in 2005.
In 2006, Chitacumbi recorded her third release, Regards Croisés. The album featured the heavyweight talents of Mino Cinelú (Miles Davis, Weather Report), Zenzi Lee Makeba (SA), Yves Ndock (Touré Kunda, Papa Wemba), N’Doumbe Djengue (Salif Keita, Angélique Kidjo) and Valery Lobe (Manu Dibango). From 2006 – 2009 she toured to festivals and venues in Cameroon, France, Bulgaria, Hungary and across Switzerland with the album.
With her all female band, the Four Roses, founded in 1996, Chitacumbi released 3 albums and toured across Europe as well as to Russia & Siberia, South Africa, Burkina Faso and USA.
2010 saw the birth of a new show, Nanguali, which toured across Switzerland and to Paris, with the some of the material later included on 2013’s ReBelles.
In 2011, Chitacumbi featured on a duet with Brian Jackson (known for his work with Gil Scott-Heron) on More than Music, an album produced by Goo le Gooster. Jackson described it as “it’s a vibe, it’s a consciousness… it’s good times… it’s life!”
Also in 2011, Florence and her band performed every night at “Harry’s Bar” during the Montreux Jazz Festival.
After releasing her album ReBelles (2013), she toured and performed all over Switzerland as well as to China. She performed a number of radio shows and her single Ne cherche pas le faille was on the top 20 on Option Musique from June to September 2013. She created the show Sincérités Parallèles with Pascal Auberson in 2015 and a series of performances followed.
From 2017, Florence has focused on the Reunión project, exploring the riches of multi-cultural heritages and musical traditions. She often collaborates with French percussionist Mino Cinelú, who has been called “the best percussionist in the world” (Canal +) and is the perfect fit for Florence’s worldly vocal inflections. Their 2018 and 2019 tours saw performances in Switzerland, France, Burkina Faso, South Africa & Lesotho with audiences enjoying the creative approach articulated around sophisticated, rhythmic and melodic arrangements.
Based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Florence performs regularly in Europe. She is currently working on her next album, which will showcase her Reunion project, and planning her next tour to Africa in 2020.