Pwezi ak Mizik Anba Tonèl – by Keylah Mellon, HCX Communications & Outreach Intern

Pwezi-7

The Kreyòl language has the imagination of a child: limitless. It paints everything vividly, musically and is full of emotion. It holds nothing back.

For our fifth annual Pwezi ak Mizik anba Tonèl, we paid homage to the poets that showed us the limitlessness of our mother tongue: Jòj Castra, Lionèl Trouyo, Jean Pierre Richard Narcisse…

After a great introduction by Wynnie Lamour, Director of the Haitian Creole Language Institute, the evening of inspired music and poetry  began with Andeyò: Drums & Chants from Rural Haiti with master drummers Jean Raymond “Sanba KebyesouGiglio, Zilibo, Markus Schwartz, and vocalist Geralda Dalestin.  A fitting and educational drumming set that took the HCX community back in time, to a period where Kreyòl was being brought to existence by the different African tribes transported to the island. Introducing each song with its historical background, the group taught us about the various rhythms so prominent in traditional Haitian music: Rada, Nago, Kongo and Banda.

The poets took the stage next. Delianov and Melissa Beauvery shook us with their readings of “M’ Gen Yon Kanmarad, Loray Kale” and some of their own writing. Schneider Laurent, with his own mash up of Franketienne, Georges Castera, Felix Morisseau Leroy, and many more, had us at the edge of our seats with a breathtaking theatrical performance.

The emotional intensity only escalated from there as pioneer of Kreyòl writing, poetry and literature, Jean Pierre Richard Narcisse came to the stage. He read a series of texts from the great Haitian poets and some of his own that extensively and intimately explored the various forms of basic emotions of human nature: anger, sadness, happiness… He then invited his wife and her endearing voice, Jasmine Narcisse, on stage to sing “Nan Katye Moren in accompaniment before ending his set in a powerful reading of an excerpt of his collection Recho etajè : Pa mande m’ poukisa m’bèt. The latter had our hearts in our throats and holding back tears.

The night ended on a melodious note with Pauline Jean and her band taking on beautiful, jazzy renditions of some of Haiti’s iconic tunes. Leaving the Shapeshifter Lab was a struggle, as we didn’t want her set to end.

Thank you to all that made this event as wonderful as it was and we can’t wait to bring you another event filled with what, in our opinion, runs through the veins of the world: art, rhythm and culture.

Thank you to our funders: ConEd, National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

For photos click here.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 at 1:53 pm and is filed under Archive, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Literature, Mizik Ayiti, Music, Photography, Poetry, 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.