Flagship artist of committed Creole song, Djo Dezormo has written the history of Martinique on several albums, while making the crowds dance.

Table of Contents

Djo Dezormo, Joseph Gros-Désormeaux of his real name, was born in February 1945 to merchant parents, within a family of 7 children (4 boys and 3 girls) , which includes among others a renowned bookseller, Emile Désormeaux, now deceased, and an immense musician, the clarinettist Michel Godzom. He died on October 10, 2021, at the age of 76, at his home in Rivière-Pilote.

Rivière-Pilote, his stronghold

Deeply rooted in the city of Rivière-Pilote (in the south of Martinique), a melting pot of Martinican separatists, Djo Dezormo grew up there, grew up there intellectually and politically and died there.

A teacher, he owned the snack bar restaurant “A kay Djo” there and had also been a radio presenter on RLDM, the independence radio, broadcasting from Rivière-Pilote.

A football fan, he had been a goalkeeper for the Racing Club de Rivière Pilote and was the former president of the Gri-Gri-pilotin.

Subscriber to the first singing awards

He scoured the singing competitions very early on and in 1960 won his 1st prize in a tie.
In 1973, he presented two songs, a beguine "Lapen mwen" and a carnival video "Manot" which were favored by the public, but not by the Jury, at least who left with a encouragement prize awarded by the chain of Local TV, FR3, at the time.

What does it matter! These two titles will be taken up the same year on an album by the legendary group La Perfecta, of which the brother of Djo Dezormo, Michel Godzom is an eminent member and will experience great success.


Djo also wrote for La Perfecta, notably the biguine-quadrille song “Tout’ bagay” which gives its name to the album, which he produces, under the Discs Lacaille label.


Djo Dezormo returned in 1974 and won the first prize at the Oscar de la beguine with the title "Jiri A Za Bay Se Pri A", (The Jury has already awarded prices), not devoid of humor and audacity, knowing his unfortunate experience of 1973.

In 1975, he offered a song about the Police "Blé pal, blé fonssé" (Pale blue, dark blue_the colors of the uniform), which became a great classic of carnival.

"Sa nou ka acheté lokal la" (What do we buy from local) was the great success of 1976 with once again, the first prize of the beguine Oscar


Conscious and dancing texts

La grande force de Djo Dezormo est sa capacité d’analyse très précise de la société martiniquaise et de ses problèmes et ses talents d’écriture chirurgicale, renforcée par une grande connaissance de son histoire et une vison identitaire affirmée.

And the masterstroke of the artist is to be able to make the crowds dance, especially during the carnival, on conscious titles. The goal is clearly to educate the people while entertaining them.

More recently, he denounced the health-ecological disaster of chlordecone, the media ( Fot le media), spoke of viagra

Historical songs

Accompanied by his orchestra aptly named "Chinn peté" (broken chains), Djo Dezormo has told Martinican history on several albums.

Two major events were particularly highlighted:

The abolition of slavery, which was advanced in Martinique to May 22, 1848, thanks to the rebellion of the slave named Romain, quickly supported by many others.

Songs :
• Esclave Romain
• 22 mé
• Neg Mawon
• Neg Pete Chinn
• Misyé Chelchè

The southern insurrection, which set the Rivière-Pilote region on fire in September 1870, following the savage attack on a young black merchant by a white settler and the height of injustice to his arrest and his sentence to 5 years in prison, which will provoke the indignation and the rebellion of the people.

Songs :
• Léopold Lubin
• Septanm 1870



Film music experience

Through the optician André Constant, a member of the Martinican Communist Party, Djo Dezormo was introduced to the filmmaker Jérôme Kanapa, son of Jean Kanapa, a French Communist leader.


In 1976, the latter solicited him for the music of his 44-minute documentary entitled "Not all Josephines are empresses" which relates the harsh reality of Josephine from Morne Rouge, analogy made with Empress Josephine , wife of Napoleon. With the difference that this Josephine is a farm worker, mother of 6 children.
Djo Dezormo therefore proposes the title “Josefin Mon rouj la“, (the Josephine of Morne Rouge). Later he will also compose a common "Josefin Trois-Îlets" in which the Empress was born.


A second collaboration took place in 1978 with the film "En l'autre bord where Djo co-signs the music with Bernard Lubat.
In the cast of the film: Toto Bissainthe, Aline Diop, Théo Légitimus, Jenny Alpha.
The screenplay is that of a young unemployed Martiniquan who raises her three children alone in Paris and experiences the harsh experience of racism and integration difficulties.


King of carnival songs

If Djo Dezormo knows how to raise awareness, as we have seen, he knows how to move bodies and has become a carnival specialist. Beyond the song contests of yesteryear, he lined up the carnival hits more than anyone.
The summit was reached with “Here is the wolf“, an indisputable hit from the carnival of 1990, which parodied the integration in 1989 of 12 member countries of the European Union, including of Martinique and who won the Sacem Prize in 1990.


Awards and Recognition

• 1st prize biguine carnival (1974 and 1976)
• 1st Vidé Carnival Prize (1975 and 1977)
• Traditional SACEM Prize (1989)
• SACEM Song of the Year Award (1990) with "Voici le loup" (Here is the wolf)
• Martinique Region Diploma (1991)
• Radio Caribbean International Trophy (1991)
• Rivière-Pilote Cultural Nights Trophy (1991, 1992)
• Balisier Radio Trophy (1993)
• Radio Lévé Doubout Matinik Trophy (1993)
• OMDAC Carnival Trophy (1998)
• Person of the Year (1999)
• SACEM Trophy (2003)
• City of Fort-de-France Song Prize (2004)
• Martinique Region Trophy (2007)




Martinican, passionate about culture and music of all kinds. Greater Caribbean specialist.

About Fwi Music Heritage

FWI MUSIC HERITAGE (FMH) is an information and resource portal specialized in the music, dance and forms of orality of the French Antilles and Guyana.


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