Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans

Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans

Much of what distinguishes New Orleans today from other American cities can be traced back to French and African influences from Haiti. The cultural ties go back more than 200 years, when 10,000 free and enslaved people left what was then the French colony of Saint Domingue during the country’s revolution. NOLA’s multi-cultural DNA is its calling card, and it’s reflected in the food, architecture, art, and most notably, music. Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans is a new three-part documentary, hosted by Grammy-winning musician Leyla McCalla, that explores the history of Haiti, and its continuing impact on the music of New Orleans. …

“For people who know Haiti and New Orleans, the similarities are endless,” says McCalla. “The deep connections between these places really comes alive in the music.”

By Bruce Warren for NPR

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