Haitian Flag Day Selebrasyon
Haitian Flag Day Selebrasyon in Brooklyn. Photo credit: Neighborhood Preservation Center

Starting this weekend, celebrations for Haitian Heritage Month are kicking off as part of Haiti Cultural Exchange’s Selebrayson.

On Saturday, FANM | DIASPORA NOW! will take place in Brooklyn Botanic Garden headlined by musician, dancer, author and jeweler Riva Precil. Precil moved to Haiti when she was five years old and lived there for 10 years. In Haiti, she was exposed to traditional Haitian music and culture, which greatly influenced her music and fashion taste, Haiti Cultural Exchange said in a press release. Now, Riva performs in New York City alongside her band Bohio Music.

The event will also feature a Monvelyno Alexis & Markus Schwartz, who will perform a fusion of Haitian Rasin/Roots, Jazz and African rhythms.

Advance tickets are required for the free event that goes form 2-3:00pm, and are available here.

Then, on Saturday May 15, Haitian Flag Day Selebrasyon! at Brooklyn Commons rooftop will include music by Mozayik, New York’s premiere Haitian jazz ensemble, and Haitian bites by GRANDCHAMPS, raffle prizes and live other performances.

Mozayik draws upon a rich legacy of traditional Afro-Haitian rhythms and melodies, and blends them with the instrumentation, melodic/harmonic sensibilities and improvisation of modern jazz, Haiti Cultural Exhange said.

In 2002, Mozayik represented Haiti in the Havana Jazz Festival, at the invitation of world-renowned Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes. The performer has headlined Haitian jazz festivals in New York City at the landmark Sounds of Brazil (SOB’S) and Irving Plaza, in Miami at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The event, which is honoring Haitian community organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic including Diaspora Community Services, Haitian American Nurses Association of Greater New York, Haitian Americans United for Progress and Haitian Community Coalition, will be held in partnership with Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, Councilmember Farah Louis and Little Haiti BK.

Advance registration is required to attend this free event. Please register here.

Then, on Friday May 21, musicians Pauline Jean & Godwin Louis are holding a concert at the Lincoln Center in honor of Haitian Heritage Month.

Vocalist Pauline Jean and saxophonist/composer Godwin Louis both share a Haitian-American heritage, musical talent and a love for the rhythms and melodies of their motherland, Haiti Cultural Exchange said.

For their  performance, presented in collaboration with RESTART STAGES at Lincoln Center, both artists will bring a unique Caribbean island-inspired perspective to a jazz concert celebrating Haiti’s indigenous sounds and powerful grooves.

Featured performers also include Axel Laugart, Jonathan Michel, Allan Mednard, drums and Markus Schwartz.

Advance tickets are required, and can be purchased here by May 13, 2021. Capacity is very limited for this event so only one two-person pod per guest is available for reservation. 

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