Archive for lewoz

Zil’oka is recruiting !!

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by ziloka

Zil’oKA is looking for musicians to play the boula drum, the chacha and other light percussions.

About the Boula drum:

Gwoka is much more than just a dance and every single element of the circle, music+voice+dance is essential. The Boula drum is responsible for keeping the rhythm. In Gwoka, we have 7 main rhythms which carry 7 different emotions. Without the rhythm, the singer cannot sing and the dancer cannot dance.

Role description:

You will be in charge of playing the boula with our team of musicians.

you may be required to play the chacha and other light percussions.

You will have the opportunity to take part to the various Zil’oka performances.

Herve Despois, Zil'OKa drummer in action on the South Banks


To keep the circle going in London, we need committed people.

-Interest in Gwoka and French Caribbean culture Essential.

-Availability on Sundays Essential.

– must be 18 or have a parental authorisation.

-No experience needed. We just want dedication and a willingness to learn.

-We welcome men and women! We also welcome people from any ethnic background, Zil’oka only cares about your willingness to learn and play!

Have a look at a  Boula drummer,  involved in the song…really really involved ( ok you do not have to be so passionate, but  this is just to give you an idea)



You will be part of the only French Caribbean band of the UK.

You will meet amazing people.

You’ll have the opportunity to travel.

Gwoka is a fantastic way to stay fit.

Your creativity is welcome.

We have a lot of fun.

You can bring your children in rehearsal (they can play too!)

We have great costumes!


This is not a paid position, Zil’oka is a non for profit organisation. if you are interested, send us an email on

Come, join the circle!



Gramatikal a Léwoz: Codes and protocol within Gwoka

Posted in French West Indian Culture with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by ziloka

July is usually a very eventful month in the Gwoka world. It is indeed the month when the Gwoka Festival invades the streets, the beaches and the air of the little town of Sainte-Anne in Guadeloupe. This year, the festival was a very interesting mix between conferences, debates, dance and music. Zil’oka was there, of course, and eager to share the experience with you.

Amongst all the festivities, the pic-nique at the Geoffroys was of particular interest to us. it was indeed a great occasion for Zil’oka to get an update on the ongoing procedure to inscribe Gwoka on the UNESCO ‘s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This endeavour, initiated by the association Rèpriz, Centre for Traditional and Popular Music and Dances, sparked a great controversy, as many did not understand or see the benefits of such a step. However, after one year of debates, idea-sharing and hard work, the application has finally been completed and sent to the UNESCO on March 26th 2012.

This is great news. This Guadeloupian “Matrimony” is being protected and regarded as a precious heritage to be passed on to the generations to come. We are now far from the days when “respectable” members of the community could not perform Gwoka. This change of attitude has been recorded by Marie-Helena Laumuno, who on that day launched her book Et le gwoka s’est enraciné en Guadeloupe (And Gwoka has been rooted in Guadeloupe).

The current concern is now to device appropriate methods to transmit the Gwoka protocol. It was argued that if Gwoka had undeniably become popular and was attracting people from various social, economical and ethnic backgrounds, many schools were failing to teach the “gramatikal a Lewoz”, which is the structure, the codes, the meaning of Gwoka. In the video below, Mr. Dorville is explaining what is meant by the expression Gramatikal a lewoz.

The inscription of Gwoka on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity could be a very good way to preserve and pass on these codes to the generations to come. We are not saying that these codes are the beginning and the end of Gwoka; we are just suggesting that the gramatikal a lewoz must be used as a platform for one’s creativity, imagination and self-expression in Gwoka. At Zil’oka, we are committed to it.

Ziloka’s Christmas get together! You missed a great night!

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2011 by ziloka

Hi Beautiful people!

On the 17th of December, Ziloka & Friends celebrated Christmas in the most traditional way at the Royal Star Pub in Old Street: Singing and dancing!

We started the night by our traditional food sharing: Fried plantain, saltfish, pie, bread, cakes etc. yummy!

We then went into the christmas carols classics before banging the swaré Léwoz!

A massive ‘Thank you’ for the night! Your energy, willingness, claps, voices and dance steps really made the event a huge success!

Merry Christmas to you all! Happy New Year!
Stay blessed!

Ziloka: Programme for the end of the year

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by ziloka

Dear all,

2011 has been a very eventful year for us, and we would like to thank you for your support. But the year is not over and we still have very exciting events to share with you all! Do save the following dates:

22nd of October : Follow us to Essex! Zil’OKa will perform at the Community Cultural Celebration Event, at Queens Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT.

29th of October: Join us at the Royal Star for the Ziloka\Kiltika cultural afternoon: Conference debate with Mr Felix Cotellon.

6th of Novembre: Gwoka workshop. venue to be confirmed.

18th of Novembre:Kreyol night at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Ziloka is putting together a performance mixing poetry, dance, music in a true Kreyol atmosphere.

-Decembre: Chante Nwel (Creole Christmas carols) venue to be confirmed.

Stay tune for more details on this blog, and spread the word!

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