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Lakou Mizik

Lakou Mizik is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes 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 fabric of a community is always tested and often damaged in the wake of conflict or disaster. When the earthquake of January 12, 2010 struck Haiti – the world watched in horror as apocalyptic images emerged from the nightmare. These images would dominate international news stories for months. In these darkest hours when the streets were still filled with the wreckage of what once was, above the sorrow and confusion rose the sounds of songs. Vodou chants, gospel ballads and folk songs filled the air in a brave attempt to deal with the overwhelming despair. Music, as it has through every tragedy and triumph in Haiti's convoluted history, soothed, inspired, healed and brought people together.

 

Formed in the wake of this unprecedented tragedy, Lakou Mizik is a diverse collection of musicians representing a cross section of generations, faiths and musical styles. On April 1, 2016 Lakou Mizik release their debut album on the Cumbancha Discovery label, calling out to the world, Wa di yo, nou la toujou - “You tell them, we’re still here”!

 

The nine members of Lakou Mizik range in age from late sixties to early twenties and come from across Haiti's musical, social, religious, and geographic spectrum. Each has a powerful story to tell: the young poet who survived a ferry disaster that claimed up to 1500 lives – floating in the ocean for 3 days on the back of a bloated cow carcass before being rescued; the church singer whose home was destroyed in the earthquake and whose Christian faith led her to initially resist singing vodou lyrics; the elder statesman of racine, or roots, music whose deep knowledge of vodou rhythms makes him a living encyclopedia of Haitian culture; the guitarist and singer seeking to emerge from the shadow of his famous father and define his own musical legacy. While each member of Lakou Mizik has a unique tale to tell, they stand 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 world. 

Latest News

Lakou Mizik's Wa Di Yo a Songlines Best of 2016

lakou-mizik-songlines-albumofyear
December 05, 2016 — 

Songlines Magazine, an essential guide to the best music from around the world, has announced their picks for the Best Albums of 2016 and we are proud to see that the Cumbancha release Wa Di Yo from Haitian supergroup Lakou Mizik has made this very coveted list.

 


New Music Video From Lakou Mizik

Lakou-Mizik-Wa-Di-Yo-video-release
September 01, 2016 — 

The official video for “Pran Ka Mwen” was conceived, produced and directed by graduating students from Cine Institute, Haiti’s only film school. Cine Institute is a division of Artists Institute, a scholarship based school focused on growing Haiti’s creative economy through professional training in Filmmaking, Audio Engineering and Music Production. Lakou Mizik was honored to work with these talented young artists to realize this video. 

 

Click Here to Watch the Video

OUT TODAY WORLDWIDE!


Lakou Mizik

Wa Di Yo
April 01, 2016 — 
BUY NOW: Cumbancha / iTunes / Amazon

"The sound of Vodou drummers, Rara horns and an accordionist blend into a soulful and party-oriented rasin experience, an Afro-Soca Carnival vibe of the highest order.” - NPR’s All Songs Considered
Lakou Mizik "Wa Di Yo"

"Its songs...draw on the rhythms and incantations of voodoo, the trumpeting of rara carnival music and hearty call-and-response vocal harmonies on their way to galloping, exultant dance grooves.” 
New York Times

"A joyous antidote to Haiti’s hard times. Four Stars.”
The Guardian
 
“The music kicked in and they damn near levitated the place. Lakou’s unique blend of Haitian roots traditions – insistent voodoo rhythms, rollicking racine melodies, twobadou lyricism and blaring rara horns – was irresistible and for the next 40 minutes, the dance floor was filled with...their subtropical warmth. One night later Lakou did it all again, with a knockout globalFEST performance that ought to put them on the map permanently.”
- Songlines

“Spanning generations Lakou Mizik create Afro Caribbean call and response harmonies that are as celebratory as they are introspective.”
- Pop! Stereo Review

“A crazy quilt of Haitian musical styles, from contemplative acoustic balladry to ecstatic chanting and throbbing compas. It’s fun but also moving.”
- CD Hotlist

"Wa Di Yo is the debut album from a fabulous multi-generational Haitian band called Lakou Mizik. This new act incorporates Haitian roots music to produce a fresh, irresistible sound.”
- World Music Central

“Anyone with a desire to feel cheered up by the power
of music will have a friend here.”
- Jazz Weekly

“One killer of a party disc…this is the kind of set that's sure to set your ears on fire. Why just call it world beat when you can simply call it killer stuff?”
- Midwest Record Review


 
 


Buy The Album
 
Lakou Mizik "Wa Di Yo"
 
Cumbancha Official Store. http://shop.cumbancha.com
iTunes
Amazon
 

LAKOU MIZIK ON TOUR
 
Lakou Mizik On Tour
TOUR DATES (MORE TBA)
April 23 Washington, DC Dance Place
April 29 Denver, CO Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
April 30 Denver, CO Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
May 1 Denver, CO Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
May 6 New York City BRIC House Ballroom
June 4 Providence, RI PVDFEST 2016

www.lakoumizik.com
 
Additional Lakou Mizik Links:
YouTube / Facebook / Twitter / Website

Lakou Mizik Brings New Life to Haitian Roots Music

January 27, 2016 — 
Debut album Wa Di Yo to be released April 1 on Cumbancha Discovery.

  

 

“Lakou Mizik, formed after the devastating Haitian earthquakes of 2010, is a genial cross-generational coalition along the lines of the Buena Vista Social Club. Its songs, some of which are topical, draw on the rhythms and incantations of voodoo, the trumpeting of rara carnival music and hearty call-and-response vocal harmonies on their way to galloping, exultant dance grooves.” 
- The New York Times

“We have nearly lost everything - but we’ll never lose our culture”
- Steeve Valcourt, Lakou Mizik


The fabric of a community is always tested and often damaged in the wake of conflict or disaster. When the earthquake of January 12, 2010 struck Haiti – the world watched in horror as apocalyptic images emerged from the nightmare. These images would dominate international news stories for months. In these darkest hours when the streets were still filled with the wreckage of what once was, above the sorrow and confusion rose the sounds of songs. Vodou chants, gospel ballads and folk songs filled the air in a brave attempt to deal with the overwhelming despair. Music, as it has through every tragedy and triumph in Haiti's convoluted history, soothed, inspired, healed and brought people together.

Formed in the wake of this unprecedented tragedy, Lakou Mizik is a diverse collection of musicians representing a cross section of generations, faiths and musical styles. On April 1, Lakou Mizik release their debut album on the Cumbancha Discovery label, calling out to the world, Wa di yo, nou la toujou - “You tell them, we’re still here”!
 
The nine members of Lakou Mizik range in age from late sixties to early twenties and come from across Haiti's musical, social, religious, and geographic spectrum. Each has a powerful story to tell: the young poet who survived a ferry disaster that claimed up to 1500 lives – floating in the ocean for 3 days on the back of a bloated cow carcass before being rescued; the church singer whose home was destroyed in the earthquake and whose Christian faith led her to initially resist singing vodou lyrics; the elder statesman of racine, or roots, music whose deep knowledge of vodou rhythms makes him a living encyclopedia of Haitian culture; the guitarist and singer seeking to emerge from the shadow of his famous father and define his own musical legacy. While each member of Lakou Mizik has a unique tale to tell, they stand 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 world.
 
LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH MEMBER OF LAKOU MIZIK HERE:
http://www.cumbancha.com/lakou-mizik-biography-eng/
 
The idea for the band was hatched on a hot November night in Port-au-Prince in the muggy basement studio of Steeve Valcourt, a guitarist and singer whose father is one of the country's iconic musicians. Still reeling from the earthquake, a cholera epidemic raging and a political crisis with enough tire burning ferocity to close the international airport, Valcourt, singer Jonas Attis and American producer Zach Niles agreed that Haiti's music and culture could serve as an antidote to the flood of negativity.
 
Niles, who ten years previously was part of the documentary film and management team that introduced Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars to the world, had traveled to Haiti to explore ways in which music could help play a role in recovery and empowering social change. Niles, Valcourt and Attis assembled an exceptional lineup, creating their own musical A-Team, a powerhouse collective of singers, rara horn players, drummers, guitarists and even an accordionist.
 
Over the next few years, the band honed their electrifying live show, presenting hours long concerts that blended the soulful spirit of a church revival, the social engagement of a political rally and the trance-inducing intoxication of a vodou ritual. Finally, after building a devoted local fan base, the band headed to the Artists Institute in Jacmel, home to a beautiful new recording studio and music school built by the We Are the World Foundation to help develop Haiti's music industry.
 
Two veteran music producers joined the group to help create their debut album: Chris Velan, a Montreal singer-songwriter and producer responsible for producing two albums for Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, and British producer Iestyn Polson, famed for his work with David Gray, David Bowie, Patti Smith and others.
 
The resulting album 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.
 
In Haitian Kreyol the word lakou carries multiple meanings. It can mean the backyard, a gathering place where people come to sing and dance, to debate or share a meal. It also means "home" or “where you are from," which in Haiti is a place filled by the ancestral spirits of all the others that were born there. Each branch of the vodou religion has its own holy place, called a lakou, where practitioners may come together in the shade of a sacred Mapou tree. With Wa Di Yo, Lakou Mizik invites listeners to join them in their lakou, to share with them the historical depth, expressive complexity and emotional range of the Haitian people. Emerging from one of the darkest periods in the history of a country with many dark periods, Lakou Mizik presents a feeling of joy, hope, solidarity and pride that they hope will serve as a beacon for a positive future in Haiti.

  
Lakou Mizik Tour Dates (More TBA)

 
April 23 Washington, DC Dance Place
April 29-May 1 Denver, CO Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
May 6 Brooklyn, NY BRIC House Ballroom
     
 

For more information, music samples, or to arrange interviews, contact:
Joe Adler at Cumbancha: joe@cumbancha.com / 802-425-2118
 
Press materials, photos, biographies and more available at www.cumbancha.com/lakoumizik/press.
 
Additional Lakou Mizik Links:
WEBSITE: www.lakoumizik.com
SOCIAL: www.facebook.com/LakouMizik
VIDEOS: www.lakoumizik.com/videos-music
ONLINE PRESS KIT: www.cumbancha.com/lakoumizik/press

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