Leave it to the good and caring journalists and editors at the Miami Herald newspaper to continue to keep Haiti in mind with interesting stories. Congratulations to reporter Jacqueline Charles for her long story about the Haitian music scene and such popular bands as Kreyol La, Barikad Crew and Djakout Mizik. A recent street party authorized by the government involved hundreds of people who paraded through downtown Port-au-Prince in a sort of celebration of life going on after the terrible January earthquake. Charles called the event “the first major dance party in Haiti’s crumbled capital since the 7.0 magnitude, and signaled a return to the vibrant nightlife that has characterized this nation through good times and gloom.”
RAM, led by Richard Morse, the affable manager of the famed Hotel Oloffson in the island nation’s capital, set the crowd ablaze with pleasure in sound, sight and movement. Not surprising, considering that RAM rocks the rafters of the Oloffson every Thursday night (or at least it used to) from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Who better to lead this musical resurgence than RAM with its roots-based music, singers and dancers?
If I were Charles’ assignment editor, I would have her researching the visual arts scene to assess the damage to Haiti’s museums, the seminal Le Centre d’Art that launched so many careers, and galleries. Which artists survived the earthquake and who didn’t make it? What is the aesthetic thrust of the art scene? All of these are good questions begging for answers for people who love Haiti and long for its renaissance.