Le P’ti Club CEO and founder Jimmy Moise organized a meeting in Miramar with some artists and concerned individuals to look for new avenues to express the art and music of Haitian-Americans in South Florida in these trying times of Covid-19. The meeting was organized by Le P’ti Club with the help of Philippe Montas, the author of this blog, and Ingrid Llera, the well known singer and practitioner of our national culture and way of life, Vodun. They invited some key individuals who are active in the community to discuss ways to represent new avenues. First, the event was held outdoors in the backyard of Mr. Moise’s residence on Bermuda Dr. where we ensured that all the social distancing was scrupulously followed by all in attendance, and everyone wore a mask. In the age of precautions against the spread of Covid-19 the meeting followed all the guidelines put forward by the Broward County Emergency directives. All the participants were advised to follow the rule and only those invited were allowed to attend. This allowed us to limit the number of participants to avoid close contact, as we sat near the lake enjoying the late evening breeze.
All the participants really contributed to make the meeting fruitful. In attendance with Jimmy Moise hosting the event, with Philippe Montas delivering the opening remarks and Ingrid Llera singing and providing her expertise on the Vodun way of life we had: Sophie Gilot and her friend Patrick, Elie Nicoleau, a patron of Haitian art and P’ti Club collaborator; Leslie Dalencour AKA Boom Boom, a well known singer whose business proposal was interesting, Nelda Augustin Jean of Barry university and owner of a club in Magic City, a part of Little Haiti who came with a friend from Indiana; David Wooley, Muriel Scott, and Monique Dodard. As we mentioned before social distancing was paramount as we all sat in the open air near the Lake in Miramar. Although it was hot early on, as the evening progressed we were blessed with a cool breeze, which allowed participants to relax and talk about the need for new avenues to help artists in the age of Covid-19.
At the onset Philippe Montas spoke about a cooperation with Ingrid Llera and Alix Conde who lives in NYC to produce and record songs that will highlight Haitian spiritual rasin music with Ingrid’s incomparable and moving voice with Alix and Philippe doing the musical arrangements. Alix is a well versed piano player and an expert keyboards and beat maker with a vast experience in arranging music, while Philippe is an experienced guitarist and band leader who favors the blues. This trio presented their idea for a new sound that will encompass both Haiti’s spiritual heritage with jazz and R&B as the musical frame. These artists will plan to work with Muriel Scott singing background and David Wooley as a beat maker and studio recording expert. The team projected a vision to rock South Florida during the meeting in order to better represent our culture, and also start using new avenues to present their artistic talent.
Leslie Dalencour, AKA Boom Boom was enthusiastic about the new endeavor and he made an interesting business proposal, which entails using his show, which streams on YouTube, to present the music that’ll come from the artists mentioned above. Boom Boom is a well known singer who has performed in Europe and in the USA in major venues. He has been making his presence known in the South Florida market, singing and doing many live presentations before the Covid-19 pandemic halted all live entertainment. And we cannot forget to mention Monique Dodard who made some key interventions in terms of investments and the business side of the planned endeavors. Monique is the sister of the well known artist Philippe Dodard, the Dean of ENARTS, the national School of the Arts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As with all universities in Haiti, ENARTS has been going through difficult times, but we hope Philippe Dodard can rekindle the spirit that made this university the heart and soul of artistry in Haiti. Monique made some key proposals that will serve as follow up to the meeting.
The evening ended with Ingrid and Philippe providing entertainment that everyone enjoyed. With Philippe Montas singing and playing the guitar, Ingrid Llera showed the breadth of her talent, amazing those in attendance with her fantastic voice and songs from the spiritual heritage we share. Ingrid is a fantastic singer who believes in the way of life that is at the center of Haitian culture, the Vodun that was the force that led to our independence and still allows Haitians to survive and cope with all the obstacles and events that have come and strengthened us in the wake of centuries of poor governance and ostracized attitudes from many others in the world. The music was inspiring and served as the perfect ending for a fruitful evening.