Thursday, October 15, 2015

Haitian classical music event

October is Haitian Creole Month.

I had no idea.

I discovered this when I was looking at some of the articles on Romel Joseph (see previous post) and searching for him under Haitian classical music.* Apparently there are celebrations not just of the language, but also of the culture of which it is a part.

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, there is a free performance at the main public library in Cambridge, MA. There are works by some names I recognize. I do wish I could be there! You can see the post on the library Facebook page, dated 10/14/15. On another site I found the following brief description:

Discover Haitian Classical Music
Discover historic and contemporary Haitian classical composers like Jaegerhuber, Racine, Perrault, Dauphin, and our host, Gifrants! Free!

I also note that there is a celebration in the same location on Halloween from 10-4. Nothing to do with Halloween itself, but for those not preparing for trick-or-treating, it looks like a marvelous opportunity.

Now, if you are further away from me in the Chicago area, never fear, there is a concert of Haitian classical music coming up there on November 8.

Haitian classical music concert in Chicago 11/8/15

Here is the Facebook event page description:

This event is free! Free-will donations benefit the Haitian American Museum and Crossing Borders Music. 

The Haitian American Museum of Chicago and Crossing Borders Music present great, seldom-heard Haitian composers spanning from the early 20th century to today. The performance will feature works that celebrate Haitians' resilience and culture, such as early 20th century German Haitian composer Werner Jaegerhuber's Quartet in C Minor. Jaegerhuber wrote the work late in his life following an aneurysm that partially paralyzed him. In its dramatic conclusion, he quotes a traditional Haitian Vodou melody, "Soley oh", which speaks of darkness and despair as well as the light of the sun. Also featured will be Robert Durand's String Quartet, on which the composer worked every day for nearly 30 years. Julio Racine's Quartet #2 and Gifrants' Konfyolo showcase "rara", a style of Haitian music featuring bamboo horns playing lively, interlocking rhythms. Gifrants' works Unbreakable Faith and Fantezi Kreyol show the composer's commitment to celebrating the music of Haitian peasants and, in Unbreakable Faith, the remarkable resilience of the Haitian people. This performance will be the Midwestern premiere of Unbreakable Faith and Fantezi Kreyol.

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*More on Romel Joseph:

Another link I discovered:
Romel Joseph and what good is classical music, anyway

A picture from an Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinite concert in Port-au-Prince in 2011, celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding and the 50th of Les Petits Chanteurs (who are also out and about touring right now)
Romel Joseph - a slide from notable moments and people series on the history of the music school given during the concert
Yes, yes, I did in fact take a picture of a slide...

While Sr. Claire Marie was telling me about attending his various graduations, I found out that he got his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati, where my mother did her grad work and where my nephew is currently studying. More ties. 

I'll leave you with a dose of cuteness - Romel's daughter Victoria, now an excellent violinist, playing in a recital at the age of six.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out about the Haitian classical music concerts!