Rara in Haiti
Street Music of Haiti
Soul Jazz Records
Anarchic carnival street music from Haiti. Traces of New Orleans' Second Line jazz meets Cuban carnival Comparsas and Brazilian afro blocs and the ancient to modern spirit of Kinshasa's Konono no.1 meets the Art Ensemble of Chicago!
To coincide with the release of the new Kanaval book on Soul Jazz Publishing, Soul Jazz Records are releasing this new CD, "Rara in Haiti: Street music of Haiti".
Rara is the music played throughout Kanaval, an anarchic folk-meets-punk collision of drums, voices and bamboo sticks which all creates an exciting, energising soundtrack to Kanaval in Haiti. Rara bands tour the countryside for days at a time accosting people, car drivers and anyone in their way, demanding payment before they move on and the crowd of musicians and singers gets bigger all the time.
This music was recorded by Soul Jazz Records in Port-au-Prince. CD comes with sleenotes by Richard Fleming (author of 'Walking to Guantanamo"), and stunning photography on the cover by Leah Gordon.
"Recorded in Port-au-Prince, featuring musicians who literally stop traffic in Haiti with their edgy, rousing and hypnotic dance music. Rara is both a distinctive style, with its roots in Africa's slavery days, and the name give to parades in which crowds dance through the streets following bands, in events that can be political or religious.
This is DIY music at its best, with percussion instruments made from bottles, sticks or old car parts; konet horns, made from the flattened tin of food cans, and vaksins, constructed from lengths of bamboo or even plastic water pipes.
The result is a furious noise that sounds at times as if football fans were attempting psychedelic marching tunes on vuvuzelas, with lengthy passages of repeated riffs against drumming and chanting vocals. There are similarities with bands in present-day Kinshasa that use homemade instruments to create trance music." (Robin Denslow)