Wednesday, October 28, 2009: 7:30 p.m.
MCLA Church Street Center
The reigning Queen of Haitian Song brings the sounds of the Caribbean to Church Street Center. Emeline Michel is a captivating performer; versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation. Singing both in French and Hatian Creole, her nine albums have catapulted her to international acclaim. A hit three years ago when Emeline performed for the incoming freshman class, it is an honor to have her back on the Church Street stage.
"the dancing ambassador with a voice serene and warm like a breeze." - The New York Times
"concentrated with sun, tears, sand and mud on the musical genres of Koma, Rara and sacred and profound rhythms, these 'kreyol roots' find again a way to nourish themselves from the deserted soil of the magic land [Haiti]" - La Presse de Montreal
Emeline Michel is beloved by Haitians for combining traditional rhythms with social, political and inspirational content. She is a member of a unique generation of Haitian musicians that emerged in the late 1980's and also includes guitarist/vocalist Beethova Obas and the bands Boukman Eksperyans and Boukan Guinen. This wave of artists emphasized complex themes, conscious lyrics, and a broad palette of musical styles, including the native Haitian compas, twoubadou and rara.
Born in Gonaives, Haiti, her first experience in music was singing gospel music at the local church. After completing her education, Emeline accepted an opportunity to study at the Detroit Jazz Center and returned to Haiti as a professional musician. She was quickly established as one of the top artists in Haiti and the French Antilles, and she was soon hailed as the "new goddess of Creole music." Relocating to France, she became a leading musical icon, performing at venues such as the Jazz Festival of Nice and Theatre de la Ville, making numerous appearances on French television and gracing the covers of many music and culture magazines.
From her new base in France, Emeline's work quickly spread throughout the French‐speaking world, including Belgium, Africa, the French Antilles, French Guiana, Québec, as well as Chile and Japan. The album Tout Mon Temps delivered her international smash hit "A‐K‐I‐K‐O." While set to an infectious dance groove, the song called for Haiti to look past the political turmoil that has long gripped the nation and to return to a time of innocence and joy.
After being signed with several record labels in France, Canada and the U.S., Emeline formed her own production company (Production Cheval De Feu) in 1999 to gain full control of her career and artistic vision. In 2006, Emeline was chosen from among the multitude of talented New York‐based performers to deliver the headline performance for the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative, a conclave of over 2000 world dignitaries, thinkers, presidents and world leaders brought together by former President Bill Clinton.