Duke is a NYC-based saxophonist, bandleader, composer, arranger and producer. A native of Port Au Prince, Haiti, raised in Brooklyn, NY, Duke grew up with music, playing in his family’s wind ensemble, his father’s church and school bands. His father, Rev. Maurice Guillaume, was a trumpet, baritone horn, and accordion player, and a signiﬁcant inﬂuence in Duke’s musical development.
While honing his skills, Duke worked as a manager for Sam Ash Music and was introduced to many great musicians. He began playing with some of these musicians, expanding his repertoire and reﬁning his craft. His love for the saxophone and for all musical genres helped establish him as a player performing with a wide range of artists, including: Brian McKnight, Michael Bolton, Liza Minelli, and gospel music greats the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Shirley Caesar, The Clark Sisters and Tye Tribbett.
Duke’s passion for jazz, swing and gospel propelled him to fuse all three styles and bring together a group of elite musicians to form the Metropolitan Gospel Big Band. The idea ﬁrst came to him when he heard Ralph Carmichael’s big band arrangement of the song, “He’s Everything to Me”. Duke’s father had taught him a traditional version. Hearing this swing rendition was a deﬁning moment, inspiring him to create MGBB. His vision for a spiritually moved jazz sound has been inﬂuenced by icons such as Coltrane, Glenn Miller, Ellington and Basie, while upholding its own signature musical style. Their performances have been called “a mind-expanding, spirit-lifting experience,” * and have delighted audiences throughout the world at concert halls, festivals, Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club, Swing 46 and other acclaimed venues. They’ve brought their distinctive sound to church services, oﬀering unique arrangements of recognizable worship songs, “giving musical praise a whole new dimension.” *
The key inspiration and muse behind Duke’s compositions and performances – whether solo, ensemble or MGBB – is a deep personal desire to connect with his audience and provide a meaningful experience for each person. He describes his goal simply: “I want my music – my playing and performing – to make a diﬀerence in people’s lives; to bring happiness, energy, excitement, hope, comfort, even healing. Music is my personal form of ministry, a way to share God’s love through my instrument. My greatest satisfaction, joy and inspiration is seeing, hearing and experiencing the power of music to transform people and their lives.”
Duke has composed, arranged, and produced several projects, solo and big band albums, embracing jazz, blues, pop, rock, gospel, Latin, and dance, combining genres to create new sounds. Here is just a sampling:
SOUNDTRACK QUARANTINE 2020: a solo concept album and expression of Duke’s personal story and experience of the lockdown caused by the pandemic; explores themes such as uncertainty, disconnection, grief and hope.
FREE TO DANCE: A strong dance vibe blending electronics with classic jazz and Latin-esque sensibilities. Featuring the single, “Karar”.
METROPOLITAN GOSPEL BIG BAND: An uplifting collection of hymns and worship songs arranged in big band swing style.
DUKE GUILLAUME: POWER OF PRAISE & POWER OF PRAISE – LIVE AT DARYLS HOUSE CLUB:
Duke’s ensemble joins him in these jazz-with-roots-in-gospel studio and live albums.
BREATHE: Duke’s solo sax and accompanying piano combine textured layers of sound to create a gentle meditative space.
Most recently, Duke conceived and founded Time For Time Music, a groundbreaking website and app to help musical artists make music and advance their work through a unique barter system. TFT Music is the fulﬁllment of Duke’s lifelong goal and driving force: to help musicians by creating community.
*The Positive Community