Diaspora NOW is a platform for emerging literary and performing artists of Haitian descent to premiere works in New York City, offering opportunities for Haitians and the general public to engage with new art that highlights experiences in the Diaspora.
With host and moderator Carel Pedre!
This year’s Diaspora NOW, entitled, HYPHENATED, explores the status and role of Haitian artists as they navigate the dualities of their lives between the disparate cultures, economies, and racial orders of Haiti and the United States. The series will feature
multidisciplinary works and artists who will each present a performance and participate in a moderated post-show dialogue about their work.
Join us on Saturday, March 11 at Mark Morris Dance Center for an evening of new music by Monvelyno Alexis and on Sunday, March 12 for new music by Sherlee Skai. More artists to be announced!
Saturday March 11, 6-8pm
Musician Monvelyno Alexis
Sunday March 12, 3-5pm
Musician Sherlee Skai
ABOUT THE ARTISTS & HOST
As a native of Haiti, Monvelyno learned from the creators of the Haitian roots music. He grabbed his guitar at the age of 18, matured into a skilled musician and made ethnological research at sacred places, such as Soukri, Badjo, Souvnans. The innovators of this movement guided the young musician helping him understand the language of the drum in relation to the guitar. As a well-rounded musician in search of an original sound, Monvelyno moved to the US to study music. This quest helped him to merge all of his influences and he offers listeners a New Music Movement for the Haitian Tradition. He names this new sound the Kod ak Po Project to strengthen the Haitian culture.
Album: DJÒ 21 Grenn Awenken is a blend of many of styles and genres of music to promote the nature of freedom as an independent solo artist. The album starts with mainstream club sounds to inspire joy and happiness to the audience, switching smoothly to the acoustic world for a quieter, more inspiring ambient vibe and finishing with the Traditional/spiritual to connect to our ancestors.
World music singer-songwriter Sherlee Skai brings a unique sound shaped by multicultural influences from Haitian folklore to American jazz and soul. She sings from the heart combining music, activism, and history.
Sherlee has graced stages such as Harlem Week and Lincoln Center with her polished, incandescent jazz vocals. She released her first album, “TOUTOUNI” – bare– in 2018 and is working on her second album, which she will release this year.
A fierce activist, Sherlee Skai uses her music and voice as a tool to bring awareness about social injustice, notably U.S. immigration policies. Witnessing the mistreatment of Haitian migrants and others, she has made it her duty to advocate for more humane and equitable immigrant treatment.
Album: Misyon / Mission is a socially engaged project that centers Haiti by calling out its internal and external antagonists, and celebrate its culture. It is Creole soul: is a fusion of traditional rhythms, jazz, and contemporary sound.
Franscisco “Cisco” Frerreiro on Guitar
Gashford Guillaume as drummer
Rodney “Okai” Fleurimond on Percussions
Stanley Starr on bass
Alexis Marcelo, keyboardist
Carel Pedre is one of Haiti’s most respected and well-known media personalities, with over 25 years of experience. He is the CEO of Chokarella, one of the largest media companies in Haiti that use creative storytelling to inspire positive social change. Carel is passionate about making a difference in the world and does this through his work with various charities. As a brand ambassador, Carel represents some of the biggest names in Haitian business. Carel wants to use his voice and influence to uplift others.