Lakou Mizik is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their countrymen and the world.
The fabric of a community is always tested and often damaged in the wake of conflict or disaster. When the earthquake of January 12, 2010 struck Haiti – the world watched in horror as apocalyptic images emerged from the nightmare. These images would dominate international news stories for months. In these darkest hours when the streets were still filled with the wreckage of what once was, above the sorrow and confusion rose the sounds of songs. Vodou chants, gospel ballads and folk songs filled the air in a brave attempt to deal with the overwhelming despair. Music, as it has through every tragedy and triumph in Haiti's convoluted history, soothed, inspired, healed and brought people together.
Formed in the wake of this unprecedented tragedy, Lakou Mizik is a diverse collection of musicians representing a cross section of generations, faiths and musical styles. On April 1, 2016 Lakou Mizik release their debut album on the Cumbancha Discovery label, calling out to the world, Wa di yo, nou la toujou - “You tell them, we’re still here”!
The nine members of Lakou Mizik range in age from late sixties to early twenties and come from across Haiti's musical, social, religious, and geographic spectrum. Each has a powerful story to tell: the young poet who survived a ferry disaster that claimed up to 1500 lives – floating in the ocean for 3 days on the back of a bloated cow carcass before being rescued; the church singer whose home was destroyed in the earthquake and whose Christian faith led her to initially resist singing vodou lyrics; the elder statesman of racine, or roots, music whose deep knowledge of vodou rhythms makes him a living encyclopedia of Haitian culture; the guitarist and singer seeking to emerge from the shadow of his famous father and define his own musical legacy. While each member of Lakou Mizik has a unique tale to tell, they stand united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their countrymen and world.
The long form trailer for "Lakou Mizik" a multi-media celebration of Haitian music and culture and an epic journey through Haiti to discover uncover lost musical legends and to paint a fresh portrait of the country through the eyes of its musicians.
Rehearsing at the Audio Institute (www.audioinstitute.org) studios with producer Chris Velan (www.chrisvelan.com).
This video features the great Haitian musician Beken dueting with his son Dickens Dauphin. Beken wrote the song Tounen Lakay to express the difficulty faced by those who have sought opportunity in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and the draw back to the simplicity of life in the countryside. This is also the last recording made by Beken's long time guitarist and great friend Serge Bontan who plays the beautiful lead guitar on the song.
Peze Kafé is a Haitian Music standard that has been covered countless times over the decades. This version features updated lyrics that expands on the traditional story of son being sent out to fetch coffee and being wrongfully arrested by the police. Music legend Boulo Valcourt starts the traditional verses with his son Steeve adding rap and Jonas adding new depth to the story. This is "Lakou Mizik" bringing generations together to reimagine and update these classic songs - paying hommage to traditions while celebrating Hait's continued cultural strength.
"Nan Lakou A" was shot on location in the Jalouzie neighborhood of Petion Ville (Port-au-Prince). The song is a medley of Haitian rara songs arranged by the band Silibo Tèt Syel. Directed by: Nico Jolliet / Produced by: Zach Niles / Camera: Nico Jolliet, Jon Bougher, Kohl Threlkeld, Ben Depp, Zach Niles / Edited by: Nico Jolliet / Associate Producer: Brietta Hague
Lakou Mizik is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to thei countrymen and the world.