Shleu Shleu, Ayabonmbe at Big Night Little Haiti

Friday, August 15, 2014 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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Location: Little Haiti Cultural Center Free, every 3rd Friday. 

Shleu Shleu Miami All Stars, carrying on the music of the legendary Shleu Shleu of Haitian music, headline a double bill at Big Night.

Since 1965, Shleu Shleu has defined “Kompa Direk,” the beloved classic dance music of Haiti.  They are among the longest running groups in the history of kompa, remaining popular for 50 years.  Smith Jean Baptiste and Jacques Vabre launched the band, with frequent shows at the lovely Hotel Villa Creole in Petion-ville, popular dance parties throughout the original golden age of konpa of the 1960s.  The big band was in demand at all of Haiti’s prestigious hotels and private parties, and brought together many of the top musicians of the era.  In the years between, the band toured and recorded, even as the band line up evolved.  By 2011, many of the key players had moved to South Florida, and under the leadership of percussionist Baptiste and long-time saxophonist Evens “Gogo” Laturtue, renamed themselves the Shleu Shleu Miami All Stars.  The band is still rocking crowds on the dance floor!

The double bill also features Ayabonmbe, an 8-member rasin (roots) Haitian music and dance group. More than 20 traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms form the beat for this vibrant ensemble, led by composer and founder Marc Joseph, and percussionist Patou Lindor.   Ayabonmbe is the war cry of the Arawak Indians, defending their sacred Caribbean homelands, and it remains today a leitmotif in the struggle for education and peace. The call is vital to the work of the group, which includes fiery live performances as well as workshops for young people to become immersed in traditional Haitian roots culture.

Between sets, DJ Mack.

In the gallery, Guantanamo Memory Project.

A rocking after party at 7th Circuit with the Moksha Roots Allstars and special guests.

The night will featuring delicious kreyol cuisine from Leela’s LakayHyper Malt, Prestige Beer and Clairin Rum at the bar, and more.  Have you tried Clairin? It is a uniquely Haitian “rum agricole”, imported to the US for the first time!  Enjoy a special Big Night Big Punch.

The hands-on art activities for kids are sponsored by Positive Impact Foundation / Kose Famn and Bass Museum of Art.

Big Night in Little Haiti takes place every 3rd Friday, free, at the Little Haiti Cultural Center.  Major support is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Additional sponsors and partners include Hyper Malt, Clairin, Prestige Beer, FIAT of North Miami, AmericanAirlines, City of Miami, Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Little Haiti Cultural Center

212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL

(Click map for directions)