To open this year’s Kanaval festivities in Jacmel we produced a free outdoor music festival with our friends Arcade Fire, Handz Up, and BélO. Set in downtown Jacmel at Place Toussaint L’ouverture, the concert featured live performances by Arcade Fire, and leading local Haitian music groups, Kreyol La, BélO, RAM, DJ Tony Mix, DJ Gardy, J—Perry Hotmen Rap, Lakou Mizik, 45 Soldiers, Symbi Roots (RaRa Famn), and special guests!
The night was an amazing celebration of Haitian music and culture inspired by the Kreyol expression Jou Bare’n, which translates to, “til the morning comes”. In the Haitian RaRa tradition of singing and dancing all night, people often get so lost in the music that they are surprised by the morning light. A perfect name and incredible night, the concert began just after midnight and the whole community of Kanaval revelers did not stop dancing until the sun rose up through the trees.
Arcade Fire initiated the festival, after the band’s front-couple, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, attended Jacmel’s Kanaval two years ago researching for their latest album, Reflektor. Their experience in Haiti left a huge impressionon the band and influenced the entire sound of the Relflektor album. Arcade Fire even shot their groundbreaking interactive music video in Jacmel with Ciné Institute graduates!
“Our record is an homage to Carnival,” says Regine. “We love Haiti. We come as much as we can. And to be able to bring our whole band and be a part of “Jakmèl JouBare’n!” with our Haitian musician friends we have made over the years is truly amazing. We hope the “Jakmèl JouBare’n!” festival will become another amazing part of Haitian Carnival traditions. We are honoured to share the stage with Kreyol La, BelO, Symbi Roots, RAM, and so many other talented musicians.”
“The Artists Institute is thrilled to welcome our dear friends from abroad and across Haiti for “Jakmèl JouBare’n!”, says Founder David Belle. “Bringing together leaders in the arts to celebrate and grow Haitian creative industries is exactly why we started the Institute.”
“The talent we are seeing blossom in our first class of audio engineers and music producers is astounding,” says legendary Haitian musician Dadi Beaubrun, the Director of the Audio Institute. “We’re excited to see their contributions to our music industry in the future, and we are all looking forward to seeing our favorite artists at “Jakmèl Joubare’n!”
Recent Artists Institute graduate, Jean Bernard Bayard, one of the many Artists Institute graduates who is now working fulltime as a producer and filmmaker, says the festival is much more important than just a fun free concert. “Jakmèl JouBare’n! represents the potential of our talents,” Jean says. “We are filmmakers and musicians who have a lot to share with the world. I’m proud to be a part of the Artists Institute community and to be involved in the festival to show the world what we can do!”
“Music is the universal language. It reaches beyond the boundaries of culture and genre, and “Jakmèl JouBare’n!” will be a beautiful exchange of sound and song between our own Haitian talent and the international talent of Arcade Fire,” says featured performer and storied musician BélO. “I’m thrilled to be organizing this event with the band, and with the Artists Institute, which is an emerging institution that will contribute to our musical community for years to come.”
Thank you to all the amazing musicians from all over the world who participated Jakmèl JouBare’n! Wè ou pou ane pwochen an!