Haiti is ready to start one of its biggest events this weekend. the Ninth edition of Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival is on its way in the Haitian capital.
A total of 30 concerts with many after-hours jam sessions and workshops by some of the artists will be taking place
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Cecile McLorin Salvant was nominated as a first-time nominee in the Best Jazz Vocal album category for 2014 Grammy Awards. This is a Haitian-American artist who released an album, WomanChild, in May last year. This album was at number four on the Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
The history of Cécile McLorin Salvant starts in Miami, Florida. She was born to a Haitian father and a French mother. Her music blood started early enough, at age five, when she started playing piano. She then went ahead to study singing at the age of eight, in the Miami Choral Society.
Jacques Schwarz Bart, a jazz-voodoo saxophonist, has created a project he calls "Jazz Racine Haiti". His motivation was to uncover the roots of both jazz and voodoo. It is a little-known fact jazz has its source in Haitian voodoo, and now Bart has fused them and released his latest CD Sub Culture.
Performing live recently, Bart and his band introduced Jazz-Racine fusion. The basis of the Racinej format is to call forth spirits venerated in voodoo music. The group began with calling the spirit Legba, in the number "Ago eh". It segued into "Bade Zile", focused on a traditional theme. Another composition, "Vaudou Zepole" was made up of three parts: dialogue, harmony, and rhythm.
The bank Mozayik, a name that is the Creole spelling for the word mosaic, is as infused and made up of seemingly discordant elements in the Afro-Haitian jazz they perform, as the name would suggest. The band and their sound came into being through regularly held jam sessions where Gashford Guillaume and Eddy Bourjolly took to experimenting with mixing Creole and Haitian sounds with other musical influences. The result was a music that has been described as taking jazz today in the same direction as did Dizzy Gillespie in the '40's.Today, their hard work, and a little bit of fate have propelled them to their most propitious height to date.
The talented Emeline Michel is the reigning queen of Haitian song, a captivating performer, versatile vocalist, accomplished dancer, songwriter and producer. Emeline Michel is beloved by Haitians for combining traditional rhythms with social, political and inspirational content.
Born in Gonaives, Haiti, her first experience in music was singing gospel music at the local church. After completing her education, Emeline Michel accepted an opportunity to study at the Detroit Jazz Center and returned to Haiti as a professional musician. She has recorded and appeared on concert stages throughout the Caribbean, Europe, North & South America, and Africa for the past 15 years, singing both in French and Haitian Creole.