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The Rhythm of Life in Haiti is Jazz






Dave Brubeck, an accomplished jazz pianist of international acclaim was quoted once as saying, “Jazz is the voice of freedom.” What a great analogy. Jazz is free-form. Jazz is listening, attention, and focus; it is the creation of musical opportunity, allowing each musician to enrich the sound of the whole.

It’s a little bit like Haiti, actually. Very free-form. There is a certain way in which things fit together but it’s not rigidly written, as notes on a score. While visitors to Haiti often give in to despair at their sense of chaos, Haitians watch, listen, sense, and create a space for themselves in their society. They hear their note. They find their harmony. The rhythm of their lives is jazz.


"Angel Boy With Drum" SM174 by Winzor Gouin

“Angel Boy With Drum” SM174 by Winzor Gouin

How appropriate, then, that this Saturday marks the beginning of the 8th Annual Jazz Festival in the

"Angel with Saxaphone REC277"

“Angel with Saxaphone REC277”

Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. For the next seven days, in venues across the city, jazz musicians from 14 different countries will be performing in concerts, many of which are free. Additionally, there will be “after hours” jam sessions as well as jazz workshops for aspiring young Haitian artists. (A full schedule of events is available here.) http://papjazzhaiti.com/

One of the local headline artists is Thurgot Theodat, who, according the Festival website, plays “voodoo jazz. (Listen here.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhHnDi6O9jA Just as an entire line of our recycled metal sculpture at It’s Cactus is “Voodoo Inspired” https://www.itscactus.com/catalog/VOODOO_INSPIRED-121-1.html Haitian jazz music can be too. And whyever not?

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus

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