New Orleans: Haitian Drum Workshops

Master Drummer Frisner Augustin will give Haitian drum workshops twice daily from July 11 through July 16, at Kay Mystique, a New Orleans Vodou temple. See the Kay Mystique site for details, or sign up at New Orleans Mystic.

Students who take classes that week will have a chance on Saturday, July 16th, to perform with members of La Troupe Makandal, a Haitian dance ensemble.

Creole Creative Writing Contest

Eastern Digital Resources is sponsoring a creative writing contest to promote “new and emerging Haitian authors and to encourage reading and writing in Creole.” Twelve to fifteen authors will be selected to be published in The Best of Creole – 2005, and judges will award a $100 prize to one author.

The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2005, and a broad range of manuscripts will be accepted. See the website for full details.

New Yorkers – Free film showing

The New York Film and Video Festival is running in New York from April 28th through May 5th. On Monday, May 2nd, at 4:10 on Screen Two, the festival will show Kendy Vérilus’ Thompson The Great. From the website:

bq. After 200 years of Independence, Thompson The Great (Amboise Thompson), an octogenarian believes that he can talk to Jean Jacques Dessalines, The father of the Nation. This film is about life in a poor country with 200 years of Independence.

Heads-up: May will be Haitian Cultural Heritage Month

Glencoe Online has a web page up in preparation for Haitian Cultural Heritage Month in May. The site is aimed at young people and provides a wealth of information, including an animated timeline of Haitian culture, images of Haitian art, recipes, special dates, and an interview with Eveline Pierre, the president and co-founder of a proposed 60,000 square-foot Haitian Heritage Museum to be built near Little Haiti in South Miami.

Jacob Lawrence and the Toussaint Louverture series

The blog Art for a Change recently ran this post on Jacob Lawrence, an African-American painter who, in 1938 at the age of 21, produced a 41-panel series depicting the life of Toussaint Louverture.

At least one of the links in the original post is broken, so here are some other links to biographies of Jacob Lawrence and to images of the Toussaint series:

* 15 color prints from the series.

* More images from an exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

* An extensive list of Jacob Lawrence links at World Wide Arts Resources.

* Biographies at and the University of Maryland Art Gallery.

* A9 collection of other images online.

Happy Birthday Haiti

A reminder popped up on one of the mailing lists today about a terrific CD – Happy Birthday Haiti, featuring Kiskeya: The Haitian Orchestra and the voices of Ossie Davis, Dannie Glover, Carole Alexis, Susan Sarandon, and many more. The mix of songs and spoken word tracks give tribute to Haiti’s revolution and to the country’s subsequent struggles.

Preview the tracks and order the CD at CD Baby.

Big News from Danny Glover

Danny Glover, star of the Lethal Weapon series and numerous other movies, yesterday announced the formation of a new production company: Louverture Films. The new company will focus on films that have “historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value and artistic integrity.”

Most interesting and exciting for readers of The Louverture Project is the announcement that:

bq. Glover will direct Louverture’s historic action epic _Toussaint_, based on the Haitian Revolution (1789-1804) and the life of Toussaint Louverture, a former slave who rallied blacks.

Glover and longtime collaborator, director Jonathan Demme, have reportedly been interested in shooting a film based on the life of Louverture for some time, but have not been able to get the project off the ground. We wish Glover much success and will be watching the new company with keen interest.

Read the full AP article at

Event: Bonga & The Vodou Drums of Haiti

Saturday, February 5, 10:00 PM

27 West 26th Street (between 6th Ave and Broadway)
New York
212-576-1155 or

Bonga: This traditional Haitian drum battery is comprised of family members
who deliver straight-up Vodou rhythms. Great spot for a nice vibe of
mizik rasin (roots music) with an uplifting kreyol chorus. Some fierce
drumming, dancing and world-class musicianship too.

Bonga Jean-Baptiste: Haitian drum, vocals
Tiga Jean-Baptiste: Haitian drum, vocals, didgeridoo, mbira,
Jean Mary: Haitian drum, vocals
Fito Vivien: Haitian percussion and vocals
Peck Allman: brass, reeds, woodwinds
Sarah Dupuy: vocals
Alisha Zebulon: vocals
Sheila Anozier: Haitian and freestyle dance, vocals

Danticat’s ‘Dew Breaker’ wins Story Prize

Full story at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer


NEW YORK — Edwidge Danticat’s “The Dew Breaker” has been named the winner of the first Story Prize, which honors the author of an outstanding collection of short fiction.

Published by Random House’s Alfred A. Knopf imprint, “The Dew Breaker” is a book of connected stories about Haitians and Haitian-Americans whose lives have been affected by the actions of the title character, a humble Brooklyn barber with a secret past in his native land.

“The Dew Breaker” also is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, which will be announced in March.