Archive: Indigo Blue Summer Celebration

Broader Reach for HCX at Indigo-Themed Third Anniversary


To quote Master of Ceremonies and poet Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, last Saturday’s Haiti Cultural Exchange third anniversary fundraiser looked like a “lakou adorned in blue”.

Blue did not stand for the Blues judging from the festive konpa rhythms spun by DJ Ricky Bonds upstairs of the Thompson Hotel’s Gild Hall. Blue was instead reminiscent of the jean-like gros bleu and digo dresses traditionally worn from farm to market in Haiti’s countryside or for more leisurely respites from hard sun and hard work in the communal Haitian lakou, the communal yard where extended family and kin live together and congregate.

Blue also as the Port-Salut ocean flowing from jazz singer and opening act Pauline Jean’s voice and watery dress as she serenaded early arrivals downstairs by the bar. Blue as the turquoise in supporter Emeline Michel’s necklace or the azure flowers in pioneer model Jany Tomba’s hair. Blue as the electrifying rhythms of Vo-Duo musicians Monvelyno Alexis and Markus Schwartz who accompanied the evening’s vocal talents. And if those who had not seen 90s sensation and Zin lead singer Alan Cavé perform in years were intrigued by his new look, they certainly remembered his melodies.  A powder blue clad young woman in her early twenties leaned over to ask me the name of his band as he belted out recent tracks but by the time he burst into “Ma Rose,” she and the packed multi-generational room were singing along, rocking shoulder to shoulder. Cavé’s unplugged-style performance no doubt confirmed his talents as vocalist and wordsmith, complementing M.C. Michèle Voltaire Marcelin’s event-tailored spoken word.

Following Cavé’s performance, the sea of attendees shot up the stairs in DJ Ricky Bond’s direction to dance the night away cheek to cheek interrupted only by HCX Board Chair Marilyn André’s emotional thank yous to those who made the event possible: HCX Executive Director Régine Roumain, the HCX  board and staff; raffle prize donors EcleKtic designs, Prof. Millery Polyné, Naika Charles D’Haiti and daf.nei; caterers La Caye Restaurant, Fleurimond catering, and Elle and Krik Krak restaurants who provided popular akras and cod fritters; Board member Fabrice Armand who regularly hosts parties at Gild Hall; and the host committee which included yours truly.

I am a loyal HCX member, having attended many An’n Pale and several fundraisers over the past two years and it is with much delight that I witnessed in Indigo Blue an expansion of the organization’s reach beyond the familiar coterie of Brooklyn-based Haitian artists and cultural actors. I saw more early 20 somethings, more young men (yes cultural events typically attract more women), more folks from Long Island, Queens, New Jersey and the other boroughs, and more folks who don’t necessarily work in the arts, CBOs or media. The mosaic of various shades of blue formed as complete a Lakou as HCX has seen.

-Alice Backer,

This entry was posted on Monday, July 9th, 2012 at 6:43 am and is filed under Archive, Benefit, Events, HCX Programs, Music, Weekend. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.