Saturday, April 04, 2009

Listening In: Haitian Music Roundtable

The inestimable music writer and musician Ned Sublette hipped a bunch of us to this 24 March 2009 roundtable on Haitian music at The New Yorker moderated by writer Sasha Frere-Jones on his New Yorker blog. Here's Frere-Jones description of the roundtable and its origins:

The idea for this roundtable started with Madison Smartt Bell, and a post he
wrote about Haitian music for the New York Times’s Paper Cuts blog
I knew Wyclef’s music and a few other names on Bell’s list, but I found
myself feeling woefully short on context. I wanted to know what’s going on
now in Haiti. What are the big struggles within and behind Haitian music?
What should people be listening to? To answer these questions, and others, I
enlisted the help of music scholar Garnette Cadogan and brought together
Bell with:

Laurent DuBois, who is the author of “Avengers of the New World: The Story
of the Haitian Revolution
,” and is working on a history of the banjo.

Elizabeth McAlister, who writes about Haitian music and religious culture.
She is the author of “Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and its
,” and produced the Smithsonian Folkways CD “Rhythms of Rapture:
Sacred Musics of Haitian Vodou

Ned Sublette, the author of “The World That Made New Orleans,” “Cuba and Its
,” and the forthcoming “The Year Before the Flood.”

Edwidge Danticat, a novelist and author of the memoir “Brother, I’m Dying.”

Garnette Cadogan himself, who is at work on a book about rock-reggae
superstar Bob Marley.

The conversation is theirs. I’m here only as student and moderator

Read on... Frere-Jones indicates there's "More to come." I certainly hope so!