Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Am Haitian & I Am Music

Culture never dies!

It continues on and even in the next generation and the generation after that, there seems to be a remnant of what was, left over.  Whether it be an accent, a way of thinking or living, practices, belief systems and even the music that we listen to. 

Like music! If you heard it in ancient times and it was sung at the churches and is recycled and still being sung at the churches or as a blues tune. And who doesn't love a good old Beethoven or Handel song that always seems so fresh and new when sung in church on Easter Sunday? Even though the makers of it might perish, their legacy continues on. And so we become one with their music and it grows like a flower in our hearts and stands up to the sun with a desire to be sprinkled with life.

As a woman who claims a Haitian background, I grew up listening to Haitian music all my life. I enjoy the sounds. I have always had a good time dancing to them. Even learned some of the lyrics and sang along to the beautiful sounds that would reverberate through the speakers. I even add them to my exercise Zumba flow so that when I'm dancing as exercise, I can sweat to tunes of who I am. I am Haitian and I am music!

I am Haitian because God enabled me to have such a wonderful background. I am music because God blessed with an amazing gift. And I accept both because both make me, Stephanay!

Wherever You Are, the Single
Now Available for Download
It’s funny! A few friends listening to a few of the tunes  created the music for and all said the same thing; they heard a Caribbean feel to the songs.  I never realized it until they pointed it out and that was without me even trying.
Download a copy of my song, “Wherever You Are” now on ITUNES here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wherever-you-are-single/id715065058 and tell me if you can hear it. I wrote the lyrics and created the track in my studio. Music seems almost embedded in me now because that is where my heart lies.  

Beautiful sounds like those found in Haitian music could be very much one of the reasons for my love of music. Do you ever just listen to the instrumental sounds and hear the horns and bass getting in groove together?  And some of the melodies are sick, they make you just want to listen and dance.

And then listeners just get that urge to put their hand on their stomach,
Legendary accordionist, Richard Duroseau
and Singer, Stephanay JNote

sway the hips and move their feet.  Who wouldn’t feel that way when listening to Compas music?

I had the opportunity to meet the legendary accordionist, Richard Duroseau, one of the original founders of compas music. I was invited to sing with an amazing group of jazz musicians, the Carl Bartlett Jr Quintet at Occasions Catering Hall in Springfield Gardens, NY and Duroseau was one of the many members of the audience.

Music knows no color, race or nationality. It touches hearts wherever and whenever. It is one of the most peaceful creations in the world. If it hits you, you can be healed from bruises sometimes. How powerful is that; a gift that can touch somebody’s heart?
 Like the gift that Conjunction International started back in 1955 with Compa Direk and that seemed to change the sound of Haitian music forever. We cannot forget to mention the other members of the group which included Nemours Jean-Baptiste, Montford Jean-Baptiste, Weber Sicot, Julienne Paul and the duroseau Brothers. A new style of popular Haitian Dance Music started and became known as Compas. And still lives on! Even today and for the long run.

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