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Exploring The Deep Ties Between New Orleans And Haiti

Eve Abrams
New Orleans resident Al Grandoit dressed as Toussaint Louverture.

During this unusual carnival season, producer Eve Abrams delves into the many ways New Orleans and Haiti are connected: music, culture, community and other important traditions.

This six-part audio series is tied to the release of WXPN's new documentary"Kanaval: Haitian Rythems & The Music Of New Orleans, which airs Feb. 11 on WWNO.

We begin our six-part series with  this story about an instrument essential to the two cultures, with its roots in Africa: the drum. 

Next, we look at the story about a master Haitian drummer and the legacy he left in New Orleans.


We eavesdrop on a conversation between two musical collaborators, Leyla McCalla — a student of Haiti’s musical history — and Shawn Myers, who initiated in vodou drumming in Haiti.


We explore the parade route of Krewe du Kanaval, which celebrates the New Orleans — Haitian connection.



Pop Quiz: What is the common denominator behind a walking tour, a book club, and a musical talk — all of them about the Haiti-New Orleans connection? We bring you this backstory to an organization called Haitianola.


Many of our traditions are on hold — including ones with a kinship to Kanaval traditions in Haiti.  Producer Eve Abrams brings us this final story about the deep connections between Haiti and New Orleans.  And Mardi Gras.


Eve Abrams first fell in love with stories listening to her grandmother tell them; it’s been an addiction ever since.

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