LAKOU MIZIK – Haitian voodoo grooves @ Global BASH
Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFREE
“Formed after the devastating Haitian earthquakes of 2010, Lakou Mizik is a genial cross-generational coalition along the lines of the Buena Vista Social Club…rhythms and incantations of voodoo, the trumpeting of rara carnival music, and hearty call-and-response vocal harmonies on their way to galloping, exultant dance grooves.” —New York Times
Music has always been at the core of Haiti’s sense of identity, broadcasting the culture of colorful neighborhoods, villages and post-earthquake camps that reflect the African, French, Caribbean and U.S. influences that collide in Haiti. Lakou Mizik is the most exciting band to emerge from Haiti in recent years, blending the soulful spirit of a church revival, the social engagement of a political rally and the trance-inducing intoxication of a vodou ritual. A multigenerational mix of elder legends and young talents formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake, the ensemble is a united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope. Spirit-stirring vodou rhythms and call-and-response vocals are supported by the French café lilt of the accordion. Intricate bass lines and interlocking guitar riffs mesh with joyful polyrhythmic rara horns, topped by sing-along melodies with inspiring, socially conscious lyrics. The result is a soulful stew of deeply danceable grooves that feels strangely familiar yet 100% Haitian.
The idea for the band was hatched in 2010 on a hot November night in Port-au-Prince. Haiti was still reeling from the earthquake, a cholera epidemic was raging, and a political crisis filled the streets with enough tire burning ferocity to close the international airport. Some of Haiti’s best musicians met in a muggy basement studio and agreed that Haiti’s music and culture could serve as an antidote to the flood of negativity. A powerhouse collective of singers, rara horn players, drummers, guitarists and even an accordionist assembled and, over the next few years, honed its electrifying live show. Lakou Mizik recorded its much-lauded debut album, Wa Di Yo, in 2016, which led to an appearance at the prestigious globalFest, which in turn launched the band onto the world stage, literally.
Lakou Mizik’s second album, HaitiaNola, arose from their experiences at New Orleans’ Jazz & Heritage Festival, an eye-opening pilgrimage to the mythical music city. The band immediately felt a deep connection to the music, the food, the architecture. It reminded them of home. In fact, Haitian influences run deep in the culture of New Orleans, from the rhythms of Mardi Gras to the culinary earthiness, to the spirituality. New Orleans producer Eric Heigle, fresh off a GRAMMY win with his band Lost Bayou Ramblers and a role in the production of indie rock supergroup Arcade Fire’s latest album, signed on to produce. Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, longtime advocates of Haitian culture, lend their talents and their recording studio. Many in the New Orleans music community embraced the project. The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band added their timeless touch. Master pianist Jon Cleary tickled Crescent City riffs over the band’s Haitian Vodou prayers. Lost Bayou Ramblers contributed heavy Cajun grit. Haitian-American songwriter Leyla McCalla brought spine-tingling cello playing. The Soul Rebels brass band blew the roof off the studio. Cyril Neville, Trombone Shorty, Anders Osborne, Tarriona “Tank” Ball (Tank and the Bangas), and also helped create the unique, culture-melding sound of this album. The result is a sweaty celebration of the earthy sounds, gritty energy, unmistakable mysticism and the carefree Mardi Gras incantation of laissez les bon temps roulez (let the good times roll) that persists in both countries.
7th annual SCHEDULE
(Outdoor Guthrie Green performances are free. Indoor Duet Jazz shows are ticketed).
FRIDAY, APRIL 10
7:30-8:30 Wine Tasting @ Duet Jazz
9:00-10:30 DDAT – Native jazz/hip-hop @ Duet Jazz
SATURDAY, APRIL 11
5:00-9:00 INSPYRAL Circus Arts @ Guthrie Green
5:00-6:00 MONHOLLON BROS. – African drumming @ Guthrie Green
6:00-7:00 LAKOU MIZIK – Haitian vodou @ Guthrie Green
7:00-7:30 PERIZAD & ELYSIUM BELLYDANCE @ Guthrie Green
7:30-9:00 KEB’ MO’ – blues/Americana @ Guthrie Green
9:30-11:30 – TBA @ Duet Jazz
Presented in collaboration with our amazing friends at Duet Jazz.