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Haitian Band Lakou Mizik in Residency


Apr 25 2017


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Haitian Band Lakou Mizik in Residency at Duke

Haitian Band Lakou Mizik in Residency

A conversation about music, culture, and politics

Lakou Mizik band Members Steeve Valcourt, Sanba Zao, and Jonas Attis will present alongside creative director Zach Niles. Moderated by Dasha Chapman (Duke, African and African American Studies). Formed in the wake of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Lakou Mizik is a diverse coalition of musicians representing a cross section of generations, faiths and musical styles. Their music reflects the African, French, Caribbean and U.S. influences that collide in Haiti. In Haitian Kreyol the word lakou carries multiple meanings. It can mean the backyard, a gathering place where people come to sing and dance, to debate or share a meal. It also means “home” or “where you are from,” which in Haiti is a sacred place filled by the ancestral spirits of all the others that were born there. Lakou Mizik’s music invites listeners to join them in their lakou, to share with them the historical depth, expressive complexity and emotional range of the Haitian people. Emerging from one of the darkest periods in the nation’s history, Lakou Mizik presents sentiments of joy, hope, solidarity and pride that they hope will serve as a beacon for a positive future in Haiti. Stay for a participatory song workshop with Sanba Zao and Steeve Valcourt from 1:15 pm. – 2 pm. at the Forum for Scholars and Publics. Later that evening, Duke Coffeehouse will host a Lakou Mizik performance at 8 pm.

Free and open to the public. Light lunch served. Sponsored by Duke’s African and African American Studies, SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, the Haiti Lab/Franklin Humanities Institute, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Duke Department of Music, the Duke Dance Program, and the Duke Center for International and Global Studies.


Steeve Valcourt

Steeve Valcourt is the son of Haitian musical legend Boulo Valcourt a blues, jazz and roots musician who found fame in the eighties with the band Caribbean Sextet and has even played the White House. Steeve grew up partially in Haiti and partially on Long Island where he went to…...

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Sanba Zao

Sanba Zao (Louis Lesly Marcelin) is a legend of the racine (roots) music movement in Haiti. A founder of the Sanba and back to the earth movements in Haiti, Sanba Zao has been on the musical scene for nearly 30 years. He is not only a master drummer with an…...

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Jonas Attis

Jonas Attis was born in Jeremie on the southwest coast of Haiti. Known as “The City of Poets,” Jeremie has a history of spawning politically engaged artists. Raised in a musical household with faiths split between Vodou and Protestantism, Jonas was surrounded by many of the country’s deep traditions from…...

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Zach Niles

Zach Niles is an award-winning filmmaker, band manager and most recently the director of the Audio Institute in Jacmel, Haiti. His documentary film, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, won awards at 12 international film festivals and under Zach’s management, the musical stars of the film have gone on to produce four…...

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Dasha A. Chapman

Duke University

Dasha A. Chapman is the Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University, working alongside Duke’s Haiti Lab, the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, and Dance. Dasha’s research engages African diaspora theory, performance studies, ethnography, and the queer Caribbean. She received her…...

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