The October edition of Big Night in Little Haiti features one of Haitian music’s biggest cultural artists – Bélo. He transcends the label of Haitian artists and has in fact become a major draw at world music festivals around the world. Keeping with the world music vibe for the night, the opening set features Lanzallamas Monofonica, one of Miami’s best multicultural ensembles. The concerts and full night of art, food, drinks and fun takes place Friday, October 21st at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami – free admission to the public!
Born in Haiti in 1979, Bélo is a young author, composer, guitarist and singer, winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious “Prix Radio France International Discoveries of 2006.” His musical style, known as “Ragganga,” combines Reggae, Jazz, Rock, Worldbeat and “Rara” traditional voodoo rhythms. He sings in his rich and colorful native language, Haitian Creole. Bélo is a sensitive messenger who, with his melodies, knows how to touch audiences all over the world–North America, Africa, Europe and South America.
He finds his world music base in the geography of Haiti. He told Radio France, “The first thing to say is that Haiti is a crossroads on the map: it’s in the Caribbean, it’s in America, it’s in the West Indies, and our music has all those influences. Our history is the same: we’ve been colonized by the French and occupied by the Americans. Haiti is a mosaic of colors, influenced by all kinds of music. Yes, there’s compas in Haiti, but there’s also “roots” music, reggae, gospel – a whole mix of stuff. Right from my childhood, I listened to all of these types of music and they all had an effect on me and helped bring about my own original style that I call “ragganga”. It’s a mix of reggae, ragga and rara.”
The opening set features Lanzallamas Monofonica. Standing out as one of Miami’s most sophisticated bands, Lanzallamas is an eight-piece ensemble charged with melodic fire and global rhythmic chemistry. The band’s alchemy consists in the powerful combination of well-crafted lyrics, a unique performance style and a wide array of nationalities merging to create a true expression of world beat music. This group truly encompasses the diversity of the melting pot that is this city. Tastefully and sincerely blended elements of traditional Afro Caribbean, Brazilian, South American, and American rhythm and blues, jazz and funk make this group special. The sound is fresh, new, exciting, and geared towards the future.
Beyond the show on the plaza, Big Night in Little Haiti on October 21st will feature a mural session by the artists of MLK Mural Project. Hands-on art activities for children are coordinated by the Little Haiti Cultural Center in the studio.
The Little Haiti Cultural Center gallery hosts an exhibit to delight photography buffs. The IPC Visual Lab exhibit is curated by renowned photographer Carl Juste.
7th Circuit Studios, across a short promenade from the Little Haiti Cultural Center, hosts an open gallery fro 7PM to 10PM, free to the public. At 10PM, the after show party kicks in with a live concert by Moksha Roots Live, an artist collective and community. Special guests include Wraps N’ Kush, a roots reggae rock band.
Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance
225 NE 59 Street, Miami
6 PM – 10 PM, free
Open studios, and an exhibit of the metal work of Serge Jolimeau and found object sculpture of Lionel St Eloi
7th Circuit Studios: Moksha Gallery and Boutique
228 NE 59 Street, Miami
6 pm – 10 PM, free open art gallery and Pleaidian Lounge (free)
10 PM – 3AM: Wraps & Kush, Moksha Roots Allstars with special guests
($10, ages 18+)
Big Night in Little Haiti brings great crowds to the Little Haiti Cultural Center to enjoy a free concert in the plaza, art in the studios, and to experience the neighborhood. More than a thousand people have attended each previous months’ editions – locals from the neighborhood, hipsters, families with young children enjoying a night out, tourists and people who have never before visited Little Haiti.
Big Night in Little Haiti is a free monthly event, scheduled each Third Friday. Details at BigNightLittleHaiti.com or 305-960-2969.
Big Night in Little Haiti is produced by The Rhythm Foundation and the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Major support is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, through the Knight Arts Challenge Grant. Additional support is received from the City of Miami, Prestige Beer, Biscayne Times, NE 2nd Avenue Partnership and AmericanAirlines.
About The Rhythm Foundation
The Rhythm Foundation, a Miami-based non-profit cultural organization, is the foremost presenter of world music in Florida. Founded in 1988 with the goal of increasing international awareness through live music, the Rhythm Foundation has presented more than 450 concerts, events and festivals by established and innovative artists from around the world. Special focus is given to those cultures connecting to South Florida audiences – music from Latin America, the Caribbean Africa, Asia and Europe. Many of the world’s established music legends have made their US or Florida debuts with The Rhythm Foundation. Recognized as one of the top world music presenters in North America, the organization has built strong name recognition and a dedicated audience over the last 24 years. Success is due to the selection of premiere artists and consistent quality of production. The Rhythm Foundation receives annual support from its loyal members, the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council. Visit RhythmFoundation.com
About Little Haiti Cultural Center
The Little Haiti Cultural Center (LHCC) is a newly constructed 20,000sq ft multi-purpose cultural campus that brings together people and ideas to promote, showcase and support Haitian and Afro-Caribbean culture in South Florida. Built in 2007, this City of Miami venue offers a unique opportunity for local and surrounding residents; as well as visitors to gain exposure to Haitian and Afro-Caribbean tradition, entertain and develop a new talent, and expand their knowledge of the arts. For more information, please visitwww.LHCulturalCenter.org or Facebook at Little Haiti Cultural Center.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge is a five-year, $40 million initiative to bring South Florida together through the arts. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visitKnightFoundation.org.