So the Haitian Compas Festival celebrated its nineteenth year this past May. The 20th Edition will take place in 2018, which is closer than it seems. For this year’s edition, there was an effort on the part of organizers to include Haitian-American performers. The presence of Haitian-Americans acts such as Kiddo Marv, Dejah Roh, Steph Lecor, Zoey Dollaz, Lajan Slim testified to that fact.
Here’s Steph Lecor doing her thing on stage. Her costume this year was very flashy, compared to what she wore last year. She certainly added an extra touch with her WonderWoman, superhero outfit.
Above: Steph Lecor performing at Bayfront Park Photo Credit: Chokarella
Having a two-day festival afforded the festival the opportunity to include more acts. There were several hip-hop groups flown in from Haiti, such as this band called Rockfam (photo below; credit: Chokarella).
The festival also served as a platform to introduce new bands, or at least publicize them. Mickael Guirand, the former leader of Carimi, wore a shirt with the name Vayb, heralded as the name of his upcoming band.
Kai, the band of his former Carimi bandmate Richard Cave, made its first official Haitian Compas Festival appearance. The band recently released its debut album, and released a second music video “Demisyone”. Seems that Carimi fans have healed somewhat. None seem to be clamoring for Carimi, but rather seem to be eager to see and explore the new productions ex-members are releasing. The festival was a great way for Kai to gauge fan reaction regarding its album.
Above: Singer Ada. Photo Credit: Ada Ayiti.
Also, there seemed to have been a campaign on the part of the Haitian Compas Festival helmers to introduce musical genres other than konpa. Singer-songwriter Ada Ayiti, whose style is a little more eclectic…kinda like world organic soul, performed on the first day of the festival, and received a warm reception from the festival crowd.
Above: Rodney Noel, the founder of the Haitian Compas Festival. Photo Credit: Vibe Kreyol.
Back to the subject at hand…the two-day festival seems to be a perfect solution. Have not come across any complaints on social media regarding the two-day arrangement. So, this said, will the two-day trend be the norm from now on? Or was this just an experiment? If it was, it appears by most accounts that it proved to be a successful one, and one that can serve as blueprint for the next decade or so, perhaps? Festival organizers can choose to experiment a little bit more. Perhaps hold next year’s edition in Haiti to give those who have yet to visit Haiti or those who visited as little kids the chance to have yet another excuse to travel to Haiti.
Historically, the Haitian Compas Festival has been one of Miami’s biggest events and a festival chart-topper for that city, not to mention a big tourism and money-maker. How about a cruise or excursion…where the festival starts in Haiti and ends in Miami or vice-versa? This way dollars won’t be totally be taken from Miami (who has supported the festival from the start), and Haiti can still benefit culturally and financially. Food for thought.
This has been another report from your favorite chick Kreyolicious. Until next time!
Meanwhile…CLICK HERE to read other articles about Haitian music by your favorite chick Kreyolicious! Hooray!
CLICK HERE to get an overview of the history of the Haitian Compas Festival.