Archive for the ‘Krik Krak’ Category

Krik? Krak! We Didn’t Want the Night to End – by Tassiana Larochelle, HCX Volunteer



Saturday July 25th, was one of those deliberately beautiful summer afternoons that simply demanded acknowledgement. The sun was soft and bright, the air cool and crisp with ever so gentle and consistent breezes that dared you to roam indoors. Thus, it was the perfect day for the HCX community gathering outside of Five Myles Gallery in Crown Heights for Krik? Krak!: An Evening of Music and Stories, part of the HCX Mizik Ayiti Concert Series.

The afternoon began with Haitian folk stories read by singer and artist Riva Nyri Précil. The children in the audience sat memorized, watching the beautiful lady with her fairy godmother-like presence, tell tales of mystical proportions set in a far and away yet somewhat familiar land. Riva’s stunning voice gave life to the songs and refrains from the various folktales: Tezen, mon ami mwen-zen. Tezen nan dlo, mon ami mwen zen – the story of a magical fish and a young woman’s love, and Ensel Badyo, a Cinderella-like tale. Following the stories, kids and grownups alike, were treated to songs from Précil’s new album, Perle de Culture. Curious passers by found themselves drawn by her renditions of “Damballah“, “Se Bon” and “Twa Fey”. As some of us surrendered to the music, others communed over refreshments of Prestige, Cola LaCaye and assortments of Haitian “Patés”.

The highlight of the evening, however, came by way of musical tour-de-force, Wooly Saint Louis Jean. The humble, jovial, giant of an artist known for putting the works of Haitian poets, such as Georges Castera and Syto Cavé, to song had come to town and wanted to collaborate with HCX. Director Régine M. Roumain wasted no time and was absolutely psyched to host one of the artist’s rare performances stateside.

Wooly, along with his trusty guitar, performed subtle, tender and sometimes melancholic songs. Above all, we jammed with him in nostalgia, euphoria and most importantly dance. He sang works of his own and sang works of his friends, throwing in some classics as he sought fit, at one point, even pulling up his young and timid daughter for a sweet and poignant father-daughter performance.

Perhaps it was the warmth of the audience or the inquisitive nature of the new friends coming off the sidewalks to join our gathering. Some might say it was the gorgeous weather and mischievous setting of the sun over perfect acoustics or maybe the power of the artist collective. I say it was all this and a more. Whatever the case, we all recognized the magic of the moment and not one of us wanted it to end.

Click Here to see photos of the event!

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Selebrasyon! :: About New York’s Celebration of Haitian Art & Culture


Selebrasyon Poster Banner top

Selebrasyon! will be the first of its kind in New York. This festival will bring Haitian, Caribbean, and wider New York communities together to experience Haitian film, dance, music, literary and visual art in venues across the city!

Beginning on Haitian Flag Day on May 18th during Haitian Heritage Month, and running until the end of June which is Caribbean-American Heritage Month, this festival will present events hosted in collaboration with different organizations, institutions and artists.

Seeking to highlight the dynamic presence of Haitians in New York as well as in Haiti and other parts of the Diaspora, Selebrasyon! will provide opportunities for artists, especially those who are emerging, to share their work and build new audiences.


Selebrasyon! Advisory Committee

Buyu Ambroise • Alice Backer • Sabine Blaizin • Manolia Charlotin • Edwidge Danticat Jeffrey Dessources •  Joel Dreyfuss • Ayinde Jean-Baptiste • Carine Jocelyn Lorraine Mangones • Michèle Voltaire Marcelin • Jerry Philogene • Anthonine Pierre Sam Pierre • Barbara Prezeau • Rose Pierre-Louis • Elsie Saint-Louis Jessica St. Vil-Ulysse • Etienne Télémaque • Frantz Voltaire

Selebrasyon! Community Partners

651 Arts | Ann Pale Kreyol | Artists for Peace & Justice | BelTiFi Belle Vue ToursCenter for Traditional Music & Dance | City Lore Cornbread & Cremasse | CUMBE | FiveMyles Gallery | Haiti Cherie Haitian American Caucus | Haitian Recipes  | The Haitian Roundtable  Jaz Enterprise | Konbit Mizik Kiskeácity | Konbit MizikMoCADA My Haiti Travels | National Association of Haitian Professionals New York Women in Television & Film | PEN American Center Thornton Global Strategies |

Selebrasyon! Sponsors

 advantage  AFTA Diasporalogo_2013_c
Emblem health FOKAL
HAUP  nea-lockup-C QcDrapeau_2color
William Talbott Hillman Foundation
nysca_60px Selebrasyon! is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature.

Selebrasyon! Media Partners

Africulture Africulture  black street media  Brooklyn Reader Logo
 Caribbean American Weekly logo Caribbean Life    CARTER magazine diaspora radio logo
biggerHIPlogo kiskeacity kreyolicious Naika In Balance Logo
NBPClogo POWER RCLTV-logo (2) TrendyTripping_JPEG
voices from haiti (grab)


Posted in Archive, Crafts, Dance, Events, Exhibitions, Fashion, Film, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Krik Krak, Literature, Music, Photography, Poetry, Selebrasyon!, Theater, Visual Art, Weekend | No Comments »

Archive: Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs with Goussy Celestin and Jean Mary Brignol


gous and jm

As part of the Brooklyn Public Library’s youth programming for Black History Month, HCX visited the Dweck Center for a special Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs with storyteller Goussy Celestin & drummer Jean Mary Brignol.

Tromping through the snow and shaking off layers of coats, gloves, and caps, families settled in to listen to Goussy and Jean Mary as they transported us to warmer places.

Reading from Diane Wolkstein’s Banza, Goussy told the tale of a shy little goat who used the power of music to ward off a pack of hungry tigers.

Another story of the underdog… or rather, underfrog, is that of Crapo and Cheval. With a convincing “Click-O-Top! Click-O-Top!” we heard the tale of the over-confident Cheval (Horse) and his competition with clever Crapo (Frog) for the hand of the King’s beautiful daughter.

Following the victorious tale of Crapo, Goussy and Jean Mary led us in learning Crapo’s wedding dance! We all got moving with a silly dance and great rhythms celebrating Crapo’s new bride!

Another mischievous Crapo (no relation, Goussy explained) got himself into trouble with Simbi the spirit of the river when he dries out the village for his own selfish pleasure. We then wrapped up this session of Krik? Krak! with another traditional Haitian dance called the Yanvalou.

Upcoming Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs taking place this summer include a special session at our Haitian Flag Day Selebrasyon! on May 18th at Ocean Ave and Parkside Ave.

A special thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Center for hosting us.


This Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs took place on February 15, 2014 at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Center.


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Archive: Kont ak Mizik Anba Tonèl: Ochan pou Mimi Barthélémy


Kont ak Mizik castThe finale of the 2013 Mizik Ayiti! Summer Concert Series on August 24th at FiveMyles Gallery was a bittersweet evening under the Brooklyn stars. Directly following the opening reception of Haitians from the Diaspora: Creativity & Focus, the audience made their way outside. As the sun began to slip behind the clouds, the lights came on casting red and purple shadows that cloaked the stage in mysterious colors of tales yet told.

Kont ak Mizik Anba Tonèl: Ochan pou Mimi Barthélémy offered up Haitian folktales and songs in tribute to the late Haitian folklorist. Born May 3, 1939 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Mimi Barthélémy studied in France where she received a doctorate in dramatic studies. As a storyteller, actress, writer and director, Mimi lived abroad and performed in countless festivals and book affairs including the Suburban Blues Festival, the Caribbean Identity Festival at the Odeon, and the Conciergerie aux Rencontres Internationales du Conte.

Mimi’s journey began in 1979 where she worked with the Honduran Garifuna community to create a show in aimed at reclaiming their forgotten history. Mimi told her stories in French and Creole, performing either alone or with musicians in cultural centers, libraries, apartments, prisons and hospitals.

Throughout her theatrical career, Mimi received numerous honors including the Arletty Universality of the French Language and several national awards of France including the National Order of Merit, the Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honor.

After selected recordings of Mimi Barthélémy, HCX Executive Director Régine M. Roumain gave a moving introduction to the evening’s performances. [Transcribed below]

“KRIK! [Audience responds ‘KRAK!’]

Tonight, we honor the work of the late Mimi Barthélémy who passed on April 27, 2013. We share her stories, her songs, her laughter, and her desire to ensure that Haitian oral traditions are kept alive.

Mimi worked and lived in Paris, France but traveled the world to share Haitian folktales. Through numerous books and CDs including Haïti Conte, Dis-moi des Chanson d’Haïti, La Reine des Poissons & Contes d’Haïti, as well as her most recent theatrical release Koute Chante, Mimi enthralled audiences with her voice, her wit, and her passion.

I had the opportunity to sit with Mimi in her beautiful home in Paris when HCX was founding out Krik ? Krak ! program fpr children. She was so full of anedotes about growing up in Haiti, witnessing the earthquake, her family… we spoke for hours. I left her home with a suitcase full of books and music and have greatly enjoyed sharing them with my two daughters and the great number of childrenand families who have participated in our Krik ? Krak ! Program over the years. I thank Mimi deeply for providing us with such treasures.

Her good friend and collaborator, Muriel Bloch, had this to say in an article recently published in French – « Tu restes au cœur de tant d’amis, grands et petits, a’ailleurs et d’ici. Mimi la Reine des conteuses, diva de la vie, Femme-Cararaïbe ardent et baroque, à tour épique et droilatique oscillant souvent entre le mervilleux et le tragique, femme tonnerre et femme tendresse » Mimi, you remain in the heart of so many friends, big and small– from near and far. Mimi the Queen of Storytelling, dive of life.

This evening, we bring you storytelling in Kreyol and Englush, as translated with care by my mother Maryse Roumain with performance by Melissa Beauvery, Jennifer Celestin, Atibon Legba, and Laura Simms and music by Riva Précil and Jean Mary Brignol. Tonight we bring you Mimi Barthélémy. Ochan pou Mimi.”

Following opening remarks, the talented traditional drummer Jean Mary Brignol performed a moving tribute. Kont ak Mizik then presented a series of folktales and songs that were captured from works and infamous renditions by Mimi including “Ti Fi & the Key to Knowledge” which was performed by Melissa Beauvery, “The Lady & the Three Beans” performed by Jennifer Celestin and Laura Simms, and “Bouki Dances the Kokioko” as performed by Atibon Legba and Jean Mary Brignol. The stories were followed by a special set of folk songs with Riva Nyri Précil and Jean Mary Brignol which had the audience dancing and singing along.

The audience departed into the cool evening night with a spark in their eye of memory, magic, imagination set wild in a world of selfish blubbering frogs, water spirit, talking fires, and the unfortunate sufferings of silly Bouki.

Mimi, èske ou te koute?

Mizik Ayiti! Summer Concert Series and Kont ak Mizik Anba Tonèl: Ochan pou Mimi Barthélémy could not have been possible without the contributions of our talented artists, supportive community members, and generous donors. Thank you.

A special thank you to these sponsors:


MA13 sponsor blok long


The 2013 Mizik Ayiti! Summer Concert Series is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Posted in Archive, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Krik Krak, Mizik Ayiti, Music, Poetry, Theater, Weekend | No Comments »

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