Singing a different tune

Since its founding in 1994, the Creole Choir of Cuba has celebrated their Haitian heritage in song, performing the music of West African ancestors enslaved in the Caribbean.

Since its founding in 1994, the Creole Choir of Cuba has celebrated their Haitian heritage in song, performing the music of West African ancestors enslaved in the Caribbean. But those laments and celebrations may never have felt quite as immediate as they did last year, when the Choir found itself singing in Port-au-Prince little more than a month after the devastating earthquake that brought Haiti to its knees.

“The effects of the Haitian disaster runs through every performance,” says vocalist and Choir director Emilia Diaz Chavez. “Whilst singing, we are reminded of the destruction from that time and we try to channel that, too."

Known in Cuba as Grupo Vocal Desandann, the Choir is making its first U.S. appearance at the Painted Bride, previewing a more extensive tour projected for later in the year. Its members hope not only to present their gorgeous, spirited vocal music, much different from more familiar Cuban forms, but a new portrait of Haiti itself.

“Little is known about Haiti apart from stories of a poverty-stricken, catastrophe-afflicted island,” says Diaz Chavez. “With our music we hope to bring a different, more complex, image of Haiti to light: that of a culturally and artistically vibrant people.”

 
 
Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...