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Yves Joseph, a native of Petion-Ville, Haiti and better known as “Fanfan” is one of the original members of Tabou Combo. Fanfan started with the band in 1968 as a conga player in the 80’s moved to the corfront as support to Shoubou, the lead vocalist of the band. Fanfan is undoubtedly one of the most important and versatile members of Tabou Combo. Apart from being a solid background vocalist, he also sings lead in songs
like Aux Antilles, Yo …, he is also the manager of the band and the main songwriter. As a teenager, Fanfan developed a fondness for poetry and a passion for music, a combination that has made him one of the most successful songwriters and composers in the French Caribbean music Industry. Some of the songs that carries Fanfan’s signature are: AUX ANTILLES, ZAP-ZAP,ET ALORS, BAISSEZ BAS, JUICY LUCY, PANAMA QUERIDA. The latter is considered as the National Anthem of Panama and has allowed Haitians to earn recognition and respect in Panama.
Fanfan has co-written New York City, the song that broke the charts in Europe in 1975 by selling one million singles. At that time Europe was grooving to the sound “A LA TI PITIT DANSE”. Fanfan has co-written MABOUYA, the Tabou Combo song interpreted by Carlos Santana in the Super Bowl of 2002.
For over 40 years, Yves Joseph and Tabou Combo have been playing and extending the music of Haiti. There is no doubt that TabQu Combo has changed the perception of Kompa, music in various parts of the world. Tabou Combo has received international acclaim in such continents as Europe and Africa, including such countries as, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Panama. When Fanfan is not composing, he takes charge of the administrative affairs of the band . As a manager he has been able to carry the band through hard times and uncertainty that are so prevalent in the Haitian music industry.
Apart from Tabou Combo, Fanfan worked for the Mission of Congo to the United Nations for ten years as a translator, interpreter and confident to the Ambassador. He also went to mechanical school and graduated with a “Doctor of Motors “citation”. After losing his job from the Embassy due to extensive travels with the band, Fanfan entered City College of New York at the age of 36 and graduated CUM LAUDE with a major in
International Studies and a minor in Education. His commitment with Tabou Combo did not allow him the time to engage in teaching, but it was always one of his biggest dreams. He took the LSAT in 1990 and was accepted by Michigan Law School. Unfortunately, he was already married with a child and could not afford to move away from home. Fanfan also wanted to be a human rights lawyer to be a voice for the voiceless.
As an unsung hero, in 2007, using his own funds, Fanfan turned his childhood home in Haiti and started “The Fernande Joseph Primary School”, a school named after his deceased mother who raised him to always help the less fortunate. The school lasted only 3 years due to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Fanfan has received the prestigious “Sunshine Award “ for his humanitarian work in Haiti. He is the only Haitian musician to receive and endorsement deal with LP music, the leading provider of percussive instruments in the world. Fanfan was also a founding member of PROMOCAPITAL, an investment group in Haiti.
He is the owner’ of Airport Music in Haiti, a music store located at the Airport in HAITI , specializing in Haitian CDs and DVD sales. Fanfan currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Nadja who is an electrical engineer and has a son, Mikhail a student at Full Sails University in Orlando.
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