Wa Di Yo in stores from Lakou Mizik, 4/1

The hurricane that devastated Haiti in 2010 left lasting destruction, occasionally still making the news in the United States. One positive to emerge from the mess is the debut release from Lakou Mizik which formed in the wake of the natural disaster.

Like in New Orleans, music is at the core of Haiti’s identity. And like in New Orleans following the flood after Hurricane Katrina, a new generation of musicians is keeping the music and culture alive.

The band is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians including elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength, and hope to their countrymen and the world.

The album, Wa Di Yo, reflects the African, French, Caribbean, and U.S. influences that collide in Haiti. The spirit-stirring vodou rhythms and call-and-response vocals are supported by the French café lilt of the accordion. Intricate bass lines and interlocking guitar riffs mesh mesmerizingly with the joyful polyrhythmic hocketing of rara horns.

These powerful layers are topped by sing-along melodies with inspiring, socially conscious lyrics. The end result is a soulful stew of deeply danceable grooves that feels strangely familiar yet intensely new—and 100% Haitian.

I have been listening to this album nearly constantly since I got a copy a couple of months back. I highly recommend you check it out.

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