September 12, 2011
Oct. 1 Event: Creole Choir from Haiti Performs in Somerville, MA

Creole Choir of Cuba also known as Grupo Vocal Les Desandann performing in a sugar cane field in Cuba. Photo credit: Sven Creutzmann

 

The Creole Choir of Cuba

Oct. 1, 8 p.m.

Somerville Theater

Somerville, MA

Tickets: $28. 617-876-4275.

www.worldmusic.org

 

The Haitian Diaspora resides not just in the U.S., Canada and France — but in Cuba — and in typical Cuban fashion celebrate their musical heritage.  Emanating from the Eastern Cuban city of Camaguey, the Creole Choir of Cuba has been touring and lifting spirits in Haiti since the earthquake with performances of traditional Haitian folk songs and dance, reported the Boston Globe on September 11.  Descendants of Haitian sugar cane workers, the choir members began performing 17 years ago and will release their first CD in the US tomorrow.  On October 1 they will begin their U.S. tour at the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA.

 

“Who are they?” asks Victor Valdivia in a September 14 article in Pop Matters.  Noting that they may be the Haitian equivalent of the South African singing group Lady Smith Mambazo, Valdivia explains: 

 

“The Creole Choir of Cuba consists of six women and four men between the ages of 27 and 61 who began singing in their university choirs. Having endured the collapse of the Cuban economy in 1994 after the Soviet Union disbanded and no longer funded the Cuban government, the singers formed the group Desadann (Creole for “Descendents”) to sing traditional Creole songs with updated modern arrangements. Renamed the Creole Choir of Cuba, the group emerged from the Cuban music scene when they debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009, an appearance which made them hugely popular in England and led to a contract with Peter Gabriel’s Real World label.”

 

For more about the distinctive musical style of the Creole Choir of Cuba read:  http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/146719-the-creole-choir-of-cuba-tande-la/

 

For the full article from the Boston Globe see http://articles.boston.com/2011-09-11/ae/30142660_1_cuba-and-haiti-duvalier-dictatorship-folk-songs