Reggae doesn’t have to be sung with a Jamaican accent: it sounds just as good in Haitian Creole, and even better when it’s mixed with African beats, heavy electric guitar, African kora, and middle-eastern oud.
Montreal’s world-music group Deya launches their first CD Monday night. Featuring 15 musicians onstage, including a full brass section, two guitars, keyboard, bass, drums, percussion, and vocals, this event is not to be missed. But not to worry—if you’re out of town, you can stream it live (for the link, click here), or download it on itunes, at 8pm when the band starts playing.
The new CD, Notre histoire, features international Afro-reggae star Alpha Blondy, the most famous reggae musician since Bob Marley, as well as Mikey Dangerous, Juno winner for reggae music in 2008, well-known Haitian musician Toto Laraque, slam poet Fabrice Koffy, West African musician Papa Zon, on kora, and Phyras Haddad on oud. Although Alpha Blondy and Mikey Dangerous won’t be onstage Monday, the others will, along with Montreal dancehall artist Kin’sha.
Deya has been sharing their world-infused reggae sound with Montrealers since 2005. Constantly seeking out and combining new cultural sonorities, the group has a special affinity for Haiti, thanks to singer and writer Nik Myo. Born to a Haitian father and a Québecoise mother, and having spent a significant amount of time in Haiti, Myo brings a message of social engagement and peace on the new CD. With its warm and captivating energy, Notre histoire expresses resilience, respect, courage, and dignity.
The launch date is significant, being the anniversary of the Battle of Vertières in Haiti in 1803, during which the French colony fought for its independence.
The launch takes places Nov. 18th at the Rialto Theatre (5723 Parc Ave). 8 p.m. Tickets $10; for $20 you get entry and the CD.