She has been called “the queen of Haitian song” and the “new goddess of Creole music” and, indeed, singer-songwriter Emeline Michel has been instrumental in putting such distinctly Haitian styles as compas and rara on the world music map. The American-trained songstress emerged during the late 1980s, a remarkably vibrant era for Haitian music. Singing both in French and Haitian Creole, her songs frequently address social issues with a deep caring and warmth for her native land.
“As her band delved into regional styles from voodoo drumming to the lilt of the urban compass, her voice kept revealing new aspects - serene and breathy, sharp and percussive, warmly declamatory or nearly operatic - as she soared above the beat like a dancing ambassador.”
— The New York Times
Engagement at The Clarice is characterized by facilitated audience interactions with artists, scholars and community leaders that are focused on process and research rather than product and performance.
- Emeline Michel shared a mini-performance and spoke to two Ethnomusicology classes on Wednesday afternoon at The Clarice. The 300 students asked her questions about her life, her music and her activism.
- The next day, Michel performed for 440 school students, from four elementary schools in the area, as part of The Clarice’s K-12 School Partner Program’s student matinee series
- On Friday, Michel was interviewed by Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, at a family-style lunch for 30 students. The event was designed in partnership with UMD’s Global Communities and Alternative Breaks programs, and featured Haitian-inspired food and beverages.
We would like to thank our community partner Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution.
Connect with Emeline Michel on social media!
Video of Emeline Michel performing “Pran Men'm”
Review by UMD Writer's Bloc
The advent of freedom was captured in the song as Michel floated across the stage, dancing as she sang, a bright orange flame moving about a cool blue backdrop, representing the hope in the endless sea of problems that seem to plague Haiti
— COURTNEY STEININGER, UMD Writer's Bloc, November 9, 2015