Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Lakou NOU 2017: Canarsie’s Konpa Celebration

10.17.17

Glenda Lezeau, Lakou (1)

Glenda Lezeau (Canarsie) is a lover of all things Konpa from the keyboard solos to the dance moves. She is a piano player determined to shed a different light on Haiti by sharing the sounds of Haitian music along with its beautiful culture. Her passion for music strengthens and intensifies as she advances a movement of positive, inspirational music that is powerful enough to impact others. With over 20 years of training as a pianist and violist, Glenda has performed at many high profile venues, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, The Plaza Hotel and New York’s City Hall. She holds a diploma in Instrumental Music from Fiorella H. Laguardia High School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Canarsie’s Konpa Celebration is designed to celebrate the beautiful sounds of Konpa and Haitian Culture in a community that is historically Haitian and that lacks convening spaces so integral to building and sustaining communities. With a community dance fitness session, Konpa dance showcase, and special musical performance by the artist herself, Glenda Lezeau builds a celebration that uplifts Haitian music and dance while allowing people to come together as one. The event will feature Konpa music all throughout, catering by Fleurimond Catering, and special giveaways!

DATE/TIME: Saturday, November 18, 2017 | 4pm – 8pm
LOCATION: Happy Seniors Adult Social Daycare | MAP
611 East 76th Street | Brooklyn, NY 11236
ADMISSION: Free Entry

Click here for the Facebook event page!

lakou-nou-funders

Posted in Dance, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Music, Uncategorized, Weekend | No Comments »

Mizik Ayiti 2017 Recap!

10.12.17

mizikayiti

This year’s Mizik Ayiti Summer series kicked off with Lakou NOU + Mizik Ayiti on Friday, June 30, 2017. The evening featured a joint performance by pioneer Lakou NOU residents Sabine Blaizin, Rodney ‘Okai’ Fleurimont, and Veroneque Ignace, featuring musicians Jean Frenel Misere and Jean Montina of Kriyol Dance! Collective. The 2017 Lakou NOU Cohort was announced and Haitian-American songstress Mikaelle Aimee Cartright followed up with  a smooth blend of Haitian inspired folk and soul!

19702416_10155258721331830_3843816276000385068_n

Congratulations to Jasmine Plantin, Diane Exavier, Nubian Nene, and Glenda Lezeau. Welcome to Lakou NOU 2017 and the HCX family!

Next up was a rooted performance by Fanmi Asòto, which took place on July 16, 2017. Fanmi Asòto (Family of the Mother Drum) was formed in 2014 to transmit Haitian traditions to future generations, through music, interactive workshops and activities in various aspects of Haitian culture.

20155845_10155303230861830_1837614749991334232_n

The group transformed the garden with the songs and rhythms from Haitian Vodou.

The final installation in the Mizik Ayiti Series, Pwezi ak Mizik Anba Tonel, held on August 26, 2017 from 6-9pm at the Westbrook Memorial Garden, was nothing less than exceptional.

Jeffrey Dessources, aka MrJeffDess, a dynamic public speaker, author, emcee and professor of Haitian descent, hosted throughout the night and performed breathtaking and engaging poetic compilations.

This native New Yorker, known as the Disruptive Educator, is also the Co Founder of the educational platform, Trill or Not Trill. The company bridges the gap between popular culture and student development. MrJeffDess is the author of five books and has delivered lectures at over 25 universities, including Columbia and Princeton University, and has performed globally in Indonesia, Italy and South Africa. He has also been featured in Ebony Magazine, The Root and Urban Cusp Magazine.

His performance was complemented by Kreyòl poet Schneider Laurent, accompanied by Billy Midi and Rebecca Senat. The trio gave an energetic and riveting spoken word performance.

The night was topped off with music by Tiga Jean-Baptiste and his band, which featured Nkumu Katalay of the Life Long Band Project.

A special mention to Riva Precil & Bohio Music and DJ Sabine Blaizin for participating in the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust Open Garden Day, which took place on Saturday, September 16th from 4 to 6pm in the Westbrook Memorial Garden. The event was, in part, made possible by the Brooklyn Community Foundation, New York Council for the Arts, and The New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams.

bohio music

Featured Artist Bio:

Born in Brooklyn, Riva grew up in Haiti where she studied music, folkloric and modern dance, art, and theatre under some of the most important teachers of their genre.  She obtained a degree in Music Therapy at Loyola University in New Orleans and completed a Music Therapy internship at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. Bohio Music, co-founded with musician Monvelyno Alexis presents a fusion of traditional Haitian Rasin music with jazz, soul and R & B. Check out this clip from their performance at B Side.

Posted in Archive, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Mizik Ayiti, Music, Poetry, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Lakou Nou Artist Residency: Okai’s Drumming Exchange and Wellness workshop in Canarsie

11.21.16

Okai is a percussionist and vocalist in several bands that are based in Brooklyn, all representing the music of the African Diaspora. As a lead vocalist and percussionist of Brown Rice Family, StringsNSkins and Underground Horns Okai is often on the road travelling to perform gigs all over the country and internationally.

As a Lakou Nou Artist in Residency in Canarsie, Okai created a workshop that incorporated his passion for drumming and his conscious eating lifestyle. This session took place on Saturday, November 5th  at the Brooklyn Theater Arts, South Shore High School.

the-workshop

In 2012 Okai started to adopt a more conscious diet.  He explained that making changes such as eating less meat, consuming less dairy, becoming more conscious of his sugar intake made a huge difference. He also began studying product labels more often and stayed away from ingredients he was unsure of or that were obviously detrimental when consumed.  Reading labels and doing research on ingredients also helped him to be a more conscious consumer because he started paying more attention to the companies he was supporting, he began to invest more in companies with a shared mission.

Okai has noticed a transformation in his wellbeing since making these changes “ I started noticing that I had more energy, more awareness, I dreamt better and I had better thoughts” he stated. Inspired by the positive results he achieved by making this change, he now aims to share this message with other musicians. Accordingly as an artist in residence, in our Lakou Nou Artist Residency program in Canarsie, he incorporated a health segment in his workshop. He invited Anthony a drummer and health specialist practicing in Queens, NY. During his segment, Anthony reiterated a lot of what Okai himself had learned on his health conscious journey including cutting out a lot of pasta, processed foods and items that used a lot of white flour.

young-drum-circle

Another unique aspect of this workshop is that it brought together both beginners and professional drummers. Okai’s Rhythm Exchange workshop featured three master drummers of Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Haitian background, which allowed for drummers of all levels to learn a new rhythm. Attendees learned Afro-Columbian drumming from Cumbia rhythms originated from the days of slavery in the late 17th century. We learned of the bass drum (tambora) a double -sided drum used to produce the deep bass rhythms; the Tambor Alegre a secondary mid-drum known used for backup rhythm and the small drum (lamador), which also provides the back beat. Afterwards Will Tucker presented Puerto Rican Bumba rhythm featuring the drumming style Leró used as accompaniment for dancers. Finally Jean May Brignol gave us a snippet of Ibo, Nago and Yanvalou rhythms from Afro Haitian drumming.

Okai’s workshop gave participants an opportunity to hear and experience how similar and connected Afro-Caribbean culture is, while also hearing the different tones that make the expression from each country unique and distinctive.

See photos of the event HERE!

Posted in Archive, Arts, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Music, Weekend | No Comments »

Ann Pale | Café Conversation with Lakou NOU Artists

10.06.16

by Nathalie Jolivert, Communications and Outreach Coordinator at HCX.

1

Lakou NOU is Haiti Cultural Exchange’s newest Artist in Residency program providing opportunities for artists to work in Brooklyn communities that are home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans. The first four artists to participate in this program are true community activists who will be working in the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Canarsie. Their projects deal with urbanism, place-making, community-building, public health, and empowerment at a time in US history when the Afro-Caribbean people of Brooklyn need it most. HCX hosted its signature Ann Pale Café Conversation panel with the first cohort of Lakou NOU residents: Sabine Blaizin, Veroneque Ignace, & Okai Fleurimont. (Sherley Davilmar was unable to be present).

20160926-sabine-blaizin-crown-heights-jute

Sabine Blaizin, a New York based DJ who spins Afro-Soul, combines sounds of the African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora. In her project based in Crown Heights, Blaizin will create a soundscape with stories she will collect from Haitian members in the community affected by gentrification. To collect those stories, Blaizin is very proactive in connecting with Crown Heights community leaders and attending neighborhood meetings relevant to her subject. On October 26th, she will be holding interviews at our office in Crown Heights with volunteer residents. Their stories will be recorded by StoryCorps and archived in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

Blaizin has performed with DJs in various cities in the US, Canada, Dakar, Mexico, Cuba and Haiti. In answering how it feels like to travel to different countries and coming back to the US with new material, she explains that she reaches a different level of connection with her crowd. Listening to her music mixing conversations, deep reflections and words of wisdom, one can already imagine how inspiring and challenging it may be for Blaizin to piece together sounds of grief, displacement, nostalgia and disappointment in Crown Heights. The feelings that are attached with the “Haitian flight” in Crown Heights can be assimilated to all the forced migrations people of black heritage experience. Gentrification is an ongoing occurrence in Crown Heights. It is bittersweet to foresee that the residents’ experience is ready to be archived for the memory of future generations. Blaizin’s project also brings an opportunity for those residents to reflect on their situation with an approach that might reveal new depths in their understanding of what gentrification means in their lives.

20160926-veroneque-ignace-east-flatbush

Véronèque Ignace is a dancer and public-health professional who wants to heal through the power of dance. This has been an important goal for her since working on her thesis at Williams College. In a powerful video introduction of her thesis, she explains that the experience of Black students studying in predominantly white institutions can be traumatic and should be taken into account in their academic performance. The result is a dissertation and choreography in which her dancers interact with the audience and make them face this issue with movement.

How does her experience as a dancer and academician at Williams differ from her role as a healer in East Flatbush? “In East Flatbush my work is not a show” she responds. In East Flatbush, Ignace creates a platform and outlet for the youth to deal with emotions that are not always addressed. It is an opportunity for her to truly practice skills of dance therapy and respond to the youth’s reaction to violence in their neighborhood. “Some of them are afraid to leave their house” Ignace explains.

The title to Veroneque’s project is “#Trending” and she encourages the young Haitian-Americans of East Flatbush to express their feelings about the trending deaths in the Black community – Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, more recently Keith Scott… unfortunately, the list goes on. How not to feel overwhelmed? Dealing with the growing numbers is a challenge that Ignace is willing to tackle as the youth of East Flatbush grapple with the violence they witness in their community.

20160926-rodney-okai-fleurimont-canarsie

Rodney ‘Okai’ Fleurimont, is a percussionist and MC who is interested in the importance and benefits of a healthy diet in a musician’s life. In recent experiences traveling with his music band, he realized that, beyond the fatigue of traveling through different time-zones, the meals his colleagues consumed had a direct correlation with their performances. Okai has previously taught at PS 189 in Brownsville Brooklyn as a Ti Atis teacher via HCX and his experiences leading workshops and various other initiatives, made him realize that there is a pressing need for the youth in the Black community to think about their diet. Issues of diabetes and obesity are prominent within the youth of the Black Community.

With his project in Canarsie, Okai will partner with various drummers, masters of Afro-Caribbean and West-African techniques, to teach students how to play the drums. Each session will begin with a class on exercise and diet. Okai’s goal is to inspire the Haitian-American youth to keep their passion for music alive by understanding that they need the physical strength to carry their musical instruments around and also to play for hours without collapsing. There are many other benefits in participating in Okai’s workshops. Discipline and team-work are the qualities he sees his students acquire as they learn how to play the drums. They understand that it takes great team-work and perfect coordination to carry out a nice melody.

Sherley Davilmar, who will be working in the community of Flatbush was unable to make it to the Ann Pale Café Conversation. However, she shared with us the workshops that she will be hosting in the upcoming weeks for her project. They will all take place at the Brooklyn Public Library on Linden Boulevard and will cover themes of “Health Beauty and Wellness”, “Gentrification” and “Black Bodies”. From Davilmar’s energetic performances during HCX’s Selebrasyon events, one can already expect that her work will be charged with great information for future performances.

The Ann Pale Café Conversation with the Lakou NOU artists was a great opportunity for us to learn about the progress of their work. Speaking to the audience was also initial research material for the artists in their projects. As interactive as their work is, it will be inspiring to see how their projects evolve in the upcoming months.

Check out the Facebook Album HERE.

Take a look at the calendar of upcoming programs HERE.

Posted in An n' Pale, Archive, Dance, Events, HCX Programs, Music, Uncategorized | No Comments »

« Older Entries |